by Furry Girl
I've noticed my local government's anti-trafficking ads on the sides of buses, but haven't mentioned them on my blog. Then I really saw one yesterday that did something I have never, ever seen before from a mainstream anti-trafficking campaign: declare that women can be traffickers and men can be victims. Sure, this dynamic is no shocker to people who actually know anything about migrant labor, but to see it in a county-funded ad campaign blew me away.
King County's anti-trafficking campaign has many flaws, of course, but I will say that I appreciate that the ads are not just about sex slavery. The campaign uses the Polaris Project, a Christian morality NGO as a "fact" source; is partnered with the Somaly Mam Foundation, which sends Cambodian sex workers to private prisons where they are sexually abused; and links to a Shared Hope International anti-prostitution page as a resource. So the campaign is deeply problematic and based in the lies of anti-sex worker hysterics and religious nuts, and I'm not defending that.
But I think this is still a tiny, possibly hopeful step in the right direction, because the campaign is about the many faces of forced trafficking, not just the sexy sex trafficking for sexy sexual abuse thing that we normally see. There are three ad designs, and only one is about sex trafficking. The other two imply domestic labor.
by Furry Girl
I know, I know - Annie Hall came out in 1977, but in keeping with my belief that everything you need to know about life, you've already learned from movies you watched growing up, I wanted to share a favorite scene. Woody Allen and his date are stuck in line with a man loudly sharing his profound philosophical insights on what Marshall McLuhan would think about something. As sex workers, we've all been subjected to hearing blowhards drone on and on about "what it's like to be a sex worker," especially from academics, so seeing this scene made me laugh.
If only life were only like this, indeed.
by Furry Girl
One of the most common replies I get on Twitter, via email, and when I allowed comments on my blog has been some variant of the No True Scotsman fallacy.
In this form of faulty reasoning one's belief is rendered unfalsifiable because no matter how compelling the evidence is, one simply shifts the goalposts so that it wouldn't apply to a supposedly 'true' example. This kind of post-rationalization is a way of avoiding valid criticisms of one's argument.
Example: Angus declares that Scotsmen do not put sugar on their porridge, to which Lachlan points out that he is a Scotsman and puts sugar on his porridge. Furious, like a true Scot, Angus yells that no true Scotsman sugars his porridge. [Source]
This line of thinking is constantly deployed by the sex-positive feminist crowd who want to distance themselves from the myriad embarrassments of mainstream feminism. The tiny, powerless minority of sex-positive, pro-autonomy feminists rabidly insist that they are the one truly true feminism, and that all the other feminists are splinter sects that simply don't understand "real feminism." (As an ex-feminist myself, I'm embarrassed that I wasted untold hours of my young life having these exact same conversations. So I know them inside out, from both sides.)
Why do I hate these comments with such a passion?
"Good feminists" are a tiny minority, even though they claim they're the truest feminists
Part of the reason it's annoying to deal with this logical fallacy is because sex-positive, pro-autonomy, anti-victimhood feminists are a small minority compared to all the other feminists they instantly dismiss as "not real feminists." Large national feminist organizations and women's studies departments are not run on "good feminist" principles, they are run by the oppressive and anti-sexuality feminists who represent mainstream feminist values. "Good feminists" aren't the ones being brought in as experts by governments to write new anti-sex worker and anti-porn laws. Just because all of feminist friends you have are "good feminists," that doesn't mean "good feminists" make up a real majority, it just means you're trapped in a feedback loop of confirmation bias. I could conclude that most cats are male grey tabbies based on the sample population within my immediate view, but that doesn't mean it's true.
"Good feminists" are outliers, and the fact that they think they represent the majority feminist viewpoint just shows the degree to which they're devoted to willful ignorance of anything that conflicts with their images of themselves and their cutesy, feel-good interpretations of feminism.
"Good feminists" have no political power, nor do they seek it
With very few exceptions, "good feminists" are too busy congratulating themselves for being liberated to waste time on boring stuff like lobbying or working on public outreach. They always seem to have endless money and time to fly around the country attending sex-positivity conferences, going to Empowered Anal Sex 101 workshops at upscale sex toy shops, and dressing in designer threads for the most nauseatingly self-congratulatory event ever conceived, the Feminist Porn Awards. "Good feminism" is literally nothing more than masturbation. I used to believe that the sex-positive scene was building towards a bigger something, but after a decade of being around it, I now know that it's only about narcissism and reveling in how naughty it is to be sexually transgressive. There's no goal, no endpoint, nothing more substantive than endless recycled discussions about meanings of sexuality and gender.
I love kinky sex, masturbation, and DIY porn as much as any of them, but it makes me seethe with anger how often that scene used the word "revolutionary" to describe themselves and sell their products. There's fuck-all nothing "revolutionary" about basking in the privilege of how delightful it is to loll about playing with high end dildos and having plenty of free time for orgies and philosophical discussions about the meaning of it all. This is why I refer to sex-positivity as the "girlie version" of Crimethinc and other forms of self-indulgent drop-out culture lifestyle anarchism that operate under obtuse slogans such as "Poverty, unemployment, homelessness: if you're not having fun, you're not doing it right!" But as we all know, white and privileged people go totally apeshit for any philosophy that assures them that merely by having fun, they are changing the world. "Revolution" is a mix of the boring, stressful, dangerous, heart-breaking, difficult, and time-consuming, which is why so few people engage in it, but flock to schools of thought which allow them to have the label "revolutionary" without ever taking a risk or doing any work. Your typical "good feminist" engages in "sex-positive activism" by assuring one another that they are bold "revolutionaries" for watching punk porn or buying buttplugs.
In contrast, mainstream feminists have their shit together, complete with well-funded and powerful NGOs, huge salaries, and national respectability, and they work tirelessly to pass laws around the world that make things more dangerous for sex workers or seek to enact anti-free speech censorship policies (such as in feminist-run Iceland). Feminists who have any shred of influence invariably use it to be "bad feminists," whether it's criminalizing indoor prostitution in Rhode Island or holding tenured women's studies jobs so they can terrorize impressionable young women into feeling victimized by the world around them. Mainstream feminists know that you don't change the world with a Hitachi Magic Wand, you change it by being effective political lobbyists.
So long as "good feminists" have zero effect on either policy or popular thinking, they are irrelevant.
"Good feminists" are more interested in wasting their lives attacking people like me and apologizing for the wrongs and oppressions of mainstream feminism than they are doing anything productive
This final one is more sad than angering. But hey, it's easier to tweet No True Feminism comments at me all the time than it is to do something useful to change the world in measurable ways. Instead of going after the "bad feminists," the "good feminists" would rather pick fights with the people they claim to have the most in common with, lecturing us about how great feminism is if we can just get past a few bad apples.
Ultimately, even the "good feminists" are more concerned with their cult-like devotion to the label of "feminist" than they are with anything else. The label matters above all else. I have no use for people refuse to part from a ideology that calls transwomen monsters, that seeks to take away as much freedom of speech/press as possible, that calls sex workers "house niggers," that believes women need to be told how to think, that says women who enjoy feminine clothing are brainwashed idiots, that profits from convincing women that they are weak and powerless, that denies that women have free will, and that loves subjecting sex workers to state violence in the form of criminalization. I will never willingly group myself with oppressors, which is why I am not a feminist, even a "good feminist."
by Furry Girl
Heartbreaking, enraging blog posts from a former Gail Dines adherent who later became a sex worker. A few snippets:
"instead of questioning her assertion that survivors are basically incapable of making our own decisions with regards to our bodies, i began shaming myself. since i am turned on by MANY of the things she condemns, i determined that i had become an oppressor – the guilt was tortuous, and not in a good way."
"size was not the only aspect of my body dines had an opinion on. i wanted tattoos and to stretch my earlobes (i have two large pieces of ink now and ears stretched to 3/4″), but whenever i talked about body modifications, dines would get a look of disgust on her face and tell me that was a way of internalizing my abuse and re-victimizing myself by permitting the infliction of pain... and then, of course, the management of body hair. any maintenance of body hair, whether it be plucking my eyebrows, shaving my legs, or waxing my bush, was subject to detailed analysis, and, quickly determined to be submission to patriarchal oppression."
"when i met her, i was actively organizing for the rights of transgender students, putting together panels discussing the discriminatory practice of accepting transmen to my all-womens college, but not transwomen, and to have gender-free bathrooms in our under-construction library. however, dines argues that transgender men and women reinforce gender stereotypes and therefore reinforce patriarchy."
"dines’ perspective is that empowerment is a word for women who believe falsely that they have power when in fact they are ‘oppressing themselves.’ now, it seems to me like this was her way of keeping me from seeking out a feeling of empowerment for myself. because there was nothing empowering about working with gail. it was a constant anxiety, fearing for the lives of all womankind. "
by Furry Girl
"No one, but no one, has 'free choice'. If you think otherwise, remind yourself what you wanted to be when you grew up, and reflect on how exactly you ended up where you are now. Did you freely select from all career choices in the world, ever? Or did you choose as best you could from the options offered by your abilities and (more crucially) your circumstances? You know, like [famous pimp] Iceberg Slim did?
Some folks seem especially resistant to acknowledging the truth about work, so I'll underline it some more. Entire towns in the North weren't full of miners because everyone there just happened to have the aptitude and preference for that sole job, but because it was the only job going. NE Scotland isn't full of fishermen because they have a particular concentration of people whose life's dream was to catch fish, but because that's what the job market offers. Everyone's outcome is the product of limited choices, from streetwalkers to the Queen. And no one's suggesting she needs to be 'rescued' from her lack of career options.
If you want to improve someone's options, you address the things that constrain their choices in the first place. Poverty, addiction, education, to name a few. Not take away the only choices they have."
-- Dr Brooke Magnanti, in Radfems, racism, and the problem with "pimps" on sexonomics-uk.blogspot.com
by Furry Girl
Although I'm normally loathe to give my time to college students seeking a sex worker to interview for an assignment, I recently made an exception for a friend of mine. The questions were the standard things that everyone asks sex workers, and the interview included a question about how I respond to the accusation that porn and sex work objectify women.
As an ex-feminist, ex-sex positive, and general gold star member of the interweb debaters club, I have spent untold hours fighting about "objectification." One of the things that people most frequently ask me is, "But what about objectification!?" Even anti-sex worker activists who claim they can get on board with the idea of bodily autonomy and the right of people to choose to sell sex still have the "gotcha" final argument that porn and sex work are not just a matter of individual rights, but that the sex industry as a whole oppresses every woman in the world by its mere existence due to "objectification."
For the last decade, I've generally addressed "objectification" by pointing out that every single person is objectified at their jobs, so if you're going to get all cryface about sex workers "being objectified as sex objects," you better also be protesting in front of hospitals where people with medical degrees are objectified as doctors, protesting restaurants where people cooking your food are objectified as chefs, and so on. Most of the arguments made against sex work are arguments that could be made against basically everything, yet aren't. For example, anti-sex worker activists rail endlessly about how prostitution is wrong because prostitutes are only doing it because they are getting paid, but these agitators don't lobby the government to outlaw elementary schools because teachers wouldn't show up to their jobs if they weren't getting paid. News flash: almost no one would do their jobs if there was no financial incentive for them to do so. Doing work that isn't always fun so that we can get something else we want is the definition of being a grown-up, not the definition of suffering oppression.
In my interview, rather than expounding on the hypocrisy and lunacy of the application of "objectification" to sex work alone, I've decide that from now on I'm taking a different position, and I hope that you will, too.
Let's stop pretending that "objectification" is a thing that exists, because in doing so, we're dignifying the idea that it's somehow a real social harm and perfectly valid reason to deny human rights to sex workers. The instant we go down the road of debating the meaning of objectification (and its equally stupid inverse concept "empowerment"), even if it's to challenge its inconsistent application only to the sex industry, we've already failed. Objectification, much like "feminism," means whatever a person wants it to mean in order to win their current argument. Feminists and other such idiots ache for the chance at having such a conversation, because then everything is solely in the realm of abstract theories, so facts can be thrown in the garbage and the side that wins is the side that keeps at it the longest.
The sex workers' rights movement in the US needs to pull its head out of the clouds of bullshit feminist philosophical theories that have nothing to do with anything in the real world. Stop giving these distractions credibility by addressing them at all, and instead keep the conversation exactly where it needs to be: on human rights, on labor rights, on harm reduction, and on stopping the violence against sex workers created by criminalization. Feminists and other moralizers know that they will always lose against sane, evidence-based positions, so they purposefully try to change the subject to a go-nowhere discussion about things like objectification and their own emotions. If we care about making a difference for sex workers (or women and people in general), our duty is to always privilege real problems above pretentious navel-gazing.
by Furry Girl
"We know the prime users of alternative medicine worldwide - it's those middle-aged, middle-class, educated women with a high disposable income. The younger end of this group is also likely to take their children to naturopaths and cranial osteopaths, to avoid having them immunised and to medicate them with shop-bought homeopathic and herbal remedies. Alternative medicine offers these women a way to take control, to be remarkable in their day-to-day lives and to make them feel as if their needs as individuals are being attended to. It touches them, both physically and emotionally, at a point in mid-life when many women in our society say they are beginning to feel invisible... Marketing executives have been quick to appreciate the strong appeal of CAM for women.
Alternative medicine knows precisely how to make every user feel special. CAM [Complementary and Alternative Medicine] says you are unique so your treatment needs to be carefully calibrated to reflect your individuality... What matters is you, not your illness symptoms or even whether you actually have any identifiable illness or symptoms.
It is an abiding paradox that alternative medicine is used most keenly by the generation of women who, in the form of the women's liberation movement of the 1970s and 1980s, asserted that it was 'our bodies, our lives, our right to decide' and rejected paternalistic medicine in the delivery room and beyond. Yet these same women now want to be told what to do by a shaman."
-- Rose Shapiro, in her book, Suckers: How Alternative Medicine Makes Fools of Us All.
My favorite part of this book was the commentary on the gender politics of pseudoscience, and the embarrassing fact that women will gleefully line up to empty their wallets for any woo-woo nonsense that holds their hands and tells them that they're beautiful and unique snowflakes.
Quack "medicine" should be decried for the same reasons as scented vaginal douches (which also profit from purposefully exploiting women's insecurities). Instead, the very people who would balk at shame-centric, unhealthy "feminine hygiene" products are the same people in the "natural alternatives" section of the pharmacy picking up another expensive a tube of sugar pills that promises to truly appreciate their specialness.
by Furry Girl
"...Corporate philanthropy began to replace missionary activity as Capitalism's (and Imperialism's) road opening and systems maintenance patrol.
The Privatisation of Everything has also meant the NGO-isation of Everything. As jobs and livelihoods disappeared, NGOs have become an important source of employment, even for those who see them for what they are. And they are certainly not all bad. Of the millions of NGOs, some do remarkable, radical work and it would be a travesty to tar all NGOs with the same brush. However, the corporate or Foundation-endowed NGOs are global finance's way of buying into resistance movements, literally like shareholders buy shares in companies, and then try to control them from within.
Armed with their billions, these NGOs have waded into the world, turning potential revolutionaries into salaried activists, funding artists, intellectuals and filmmakers, gently luring them away from radical confrontation, ushering them in the direction of multi-culturalism, gender, community development—the discourse couched in the language of identity politics and human rights.
The NGO-isation of the women's movement has also made western liberal feminism (by virtue of its being the most funded brand) the standard-bearer of what constitutes feminism. The battles, as usual, have been played out on women's bodies, extruding Botox at one end and burqas at the other. (And then there are those who suffer the double whammy, Botox and the Burqa.) When, as happened recently in France, an attempt is made to coerce women out of the burqa rather than creating a situation in which a woman can choose what she wishes to do, it's not about liberating her, but about unclothing her. It becomes an act of humiliation and cultural imperialism. It's not about the burqa. It's about the coercion. Coercing a woman out of a burqa is as bad as coercing her into one. Viewing gender in this way, shorn of social, political and economic context, makes it an issue of identity, a battle of props and costumes. It is what allowed the US government to use western feminist groups as moral cover when it invaded Afghanistan in 2001. Afghan women were (and are) in terrible trouble under the Taliban. But dropping daisy-cutters on them was not going to solve their problems."
-- Arundhati Roy in Capitalism: A Ghost Store on outlookindia.com
Great piece, I recommend reading it. If you're short on time, feel free to bypass the discussion of Indian politics and corruption (tl;dr: shit's fucked up), and start with the section "What follows...", as a lot of that relates to any country.
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
Firstly, I apologize for the lack of uppity pro-ho materials on my blog lately. I haven't been as motivated to explain the same things over and over, as I have been defending porn and sex work for almost a decade now. (Fuck, I am so old now.) The thing is, there's no such thing as a new argument against sex work, although there are more and more studies suggesting things like the benefits of porn consumption, or that "secondary effects" of adult businesses are a myth, or that it's just not true that millions of underage sex workers are trafficked little girls being exploited and controlled by pimps. It's like debating the Bible - there will never be any new arguments in favor of creationism, but there's always more evidence in favor of evolution - once you know how to rebut all their arguments, all you can do is repeat yourself, which can get boring.
Now, moving onto my annoyance of the season: the left's current love affair with the utopian notion of "free" college for everyone. Perhaps the most commonly articulated concrete demand from Occupy protests has been for "free" college for everyone. (The most common vague demand is "end corruption" but since that's an abstract concept with no definition or proposed solution, I can't really be expected to discuss it seriously.)
How on earth could anyone be against "free" college? If I'm against "free" college for everyone, it must mean I hate learning and knowledge and poor people, right? Lefty people recoil in horror like I'm some kind of hard-right Tea Partier, but above fiscal conservatism, my beliefs about education are actually due to my deep and flagrant disregard for the presumed authority and superiority of academia.
I am against "free" college because most people don't need college
While everyone would prefer to have a high-paying job and be a millionaire astronaut rock star brain surgeon, there will always be a huge demand for less-skilled labor, even as we lose some of those jobs to overseas factories and technology. According to the list of the largest employment sectors from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, only one in the top ten (nursing) requires college education. The others - retail sales, cashiers, office clerks, food service, waiting tables, customer service, janitors, laborers, and secretaries aren't exactly careers that require a lot of advanced training. Saying that everyone should have a degree so everyone can have a high paying job is like saying everyone should be rich - it sounds fun, but in reality, it's an untenable concept. Not everyone can have a job that pays $50+ an hour, and even if we did pay that to janitors and sales clerks, the market would adjust and make everything that much more expensive, negating the value of that higher pay. Everyone likes to believe that they are special and gifted and brilliant and deserve college, but in actuality, most people are average (that's why it's called "average"), plenty of people are below-average, and all those people still need jobs.
And after all, if everyone has a degree, no one has a degree.
I am against "free" college because college degrees has been devalued by the very people who insist on the importance of "free" college
Thanks to the expansion of liberal arts education and the efforts of largely left-leaning academia, degrees don't mean much now. College degrees in my dad's era meant you must have some serious training in objectively useful stuff like science, engineering, medicine, or business, but now, anyone with a student loan or trust fund can fritter away their time earning a degree in knitting or feminism or contemplating what it means to exist. The British have an awesome phrase for this: a "Mickey Mouse degree," meaning a degree in some silly subject that has no use in the real world.
The other day, I was curious what it takes to get a degree in women's studies or feminism, since such people largely seem to be nitwits with no comprehension of things like statistics or biology. Look at this list of fluff required for bachelor's degree program at the University of Washington. Anyone who has at least a C-average can be a women's studies graduate, no pesky math classes required beyond the single "Quantitative and Symbolic Reasoning" class required of all UW graduates, in which they only need to earn a grade of .7, which is a D-. And that's not even a math requirement - it can be met by taking astronomy. So remember, when you see someone with a feminism/gender studies degree from UW (and presumably other colleges), you're looking at someone whose most strenuous degree requirement was getting a D- in a freshman-level science class. And then they wonder why they can't find high-paying jobs. (It must be The Patriarchy purposefully oppressing them, right?)
I am against "free" college because I don't support the idea that college is the only or best way to learn about every topic
I find it strange that the left, which in the past has embraced "unschooling," free schools, and learning skills on a peer-to-peer basis, in recent years has decided the only and best way to learn about anything is at college. By rallying for "free" college, the left's argument hinges on the idea that college is the only road to success and knowledge, which is just plain false. Most of my friends are not college graduates, and that includes the number of people I know in the non-ho world who make over $100k a year. The thing I've seen, across almost every single field, is that you don't need a degree if you're a smart and reasonably tenacious person. To me, the only reason to pay for an official education is if you want to go into a field which requires a degree, like medicine or engineering.
I am someone who has managed to teach myself - a school dropout - how to do everything I need to do to run a small business. (And yes, there's a lot more to what I do than just taking off my clothes.) I don't think the ability to learn things on your own is so difficult that plenty of other people couldn't tap into if they tried. I know so many other self-starters who have built successful careers and small businesses on their own, without needing degrees, as well as many who regret wasting money on college because they think their degree was largely useless. I'm a believer in skill-sharing and learning directly from each other in a cooperative and hands-on environment, which I consider a much more "radical" perspective than the current left's mindless brainboner for all things academia. (In this vein, I am happy to back Kio Stark's new book on Kickstarter, Don't Go Back to School: A handbook for learning anything. A Yale dropout and teacher at NYU, go check out what Kio has to say in case you're wary of my "bias" as a non-college person. I don't know her personally, but her partner and geek entrepreneur Bre Petis is awesome, so I'm guessing Kio's awesome, too.)
College seems like "special ed" for people who lack the initiative and follow-through to learn how to do things in the real world. For people not getting medical/science/useful degrees, I can't fathom why they will gladly spend tens of thousands of dollars to read books in groups when they could read those same books at home for free. It would be a pain in the ass to build a home chemistry lab with a ventilated fume hood and safe disposal for hazardous waste, so I understand taking chemistry lab at college, but fucking literature? Art? Philosophy? Gender theory? The pro-college people are such babies that they can't figure out how to read a book without it being spoonfed to them on a schedule and being explicitly told which parts of the text were the important bits. And on top of that, they're supposed to be intellectually superior to me, the drop-out? I've easily read and written more about feminism, human sexuality, sexual politics, and gender than your average women's studies graduate, but I ultimately win because I didn't flush $50,000+ down the toilet to do so. (In fact, I've come out financially ahead.) I guess that's kind of my ultimate fuck-you to the "educated" feminists.
I am against "free" college because it isn't actually free
What people on the left have a very hard time understanding is that "free stuff from the government" isn't actually free or from the government, it just means the cost is diffused over time and to all taxpayers. "Free" simply means that your neighbors are footing your bills.
I am against "free" college because it's not my responsibility to fund other people's hobbies
On Bill Maher's show a couple of weeks ago, he noted that in 2009, about 37,000 people graduated college in computer science and engineering, and about 89,000 in visual and performing arts. To use his perfect phrase: "A lot of people are going to college and doing bullshit." A blog post I read about one man's genuine quest to understand Occupy Wallstreet noted that he couldn't find a single person in Zuccotti park who had a science degree, but found tons of unemployed actors and artists. Americans going to college these days seem to do so largely to study things of personal interest to them, regardless of whether that degree will help them find gainful employment, which, phrased another way, is called going to college to learn amusing new hobbies.
I love books, I love crafts, I love non-pretentious art, I love discussions about sexuality and gender, I genuinely enjoy all sorts of the stuff liberal arts colleges teach, but I don't believe that I should be forced by the state to pay for other people to read books and navel-gaze and contemplate the "true" meaning of feminism. When you argue that something should be taxpayer-funded, your argument is that your beliefs should be forced onto other people through the government and under threat of imprisonment and fines if people do not comply. That's a pretty strong position to take, and while you can say that of all taxes, I'm more in favor of forcing everyone to pay for the maintenance of roads than I am of forcing people to pay for someone to take up fun new craft projects and read classic novels.
Unlike many others who are interested in women's studies and art and philosophy, I have the ability to separate my personal interests and hobbies from things which I believe the government should force others to fund.
I am against "free" college because it will probably cost more
I'm not an economist, so I don't know how to run the numbers on this, but I can only imagine that taxpayer-funded college would cost more. If tuition is $10,000 a year, how much more is it going to cost on top of that in additional taxation infrastructure and enforcement and school welfare disbursements? It seems like creating an HMO for schools, which just adds a lot of unnecessary bureaucratic costs to the service of education. (It would create jobs, on the sole plus side, but if we're going to give people jobs just for the sake of giving jobs, I'd rather we spend that money to employ people to update and modernize the country's crumbling infrastructure.) So, ultimately, when you're calling for "free" school, you're calling for school to cost more. If the goal is that everyone goes to college, then not only is everyone still going to be paying for college through higher taxes over the course of their lifetime, but they're wasting money by paying for more red tape around that college degree.
The solution to our current bullshit- and fluff-filled world of expensive college degrees is not to have everyone get an expensive degree in bullshit and fluff, but to point out that the emperor has no clothes in the first place.
Let's move on, let's take the initiative to teach and learn from each other, and let's stop embracing the idea that college has a monopoly on learning. College is indeed necessary for some people, and offers skills that would be difficult to learn on your own (like my chemistry lab example), but it's not the be-all end-all of success or knowledge. And stop demanding that your neighbors foot the bill for your hobbies, unless you want me to come back at you and force you to pay for me to take up new hobbies of my own.
My debates with the pro-"free" college crowd generally go like this: They insist that they need a degree in order to get the high-paying job they believe they deserve; I tell them if so, they should stop wasting their money on their non-useful art/philosophy degrees and get a degree that will actually be a good financial investment; they tell me that they don't care about the money, and they are enlightened and believe in learning for learning's sake; then I ask them why they needed to get an official degree to prove that they believe in learning purely for learning's sake, and why do they say they don't care about money when a minute ago they said that they want a higher paying job; at which point their logic folds in on itself and they stop replying.
Update, argument two: The art college fetishists insist that everyone is entitled to go to college and that they believe oh-so-passionately that useless degrees are a human right. Then I ask them why they don't channel that passion into spending their own money on footing the bill for others' liberal arts college tuition, and they balk and come up with an excuse as to why they shouldn't have to fund their beliefs, but that I should be forced by the government to fund their beliefs. Seriously, kids, this is why we have these things called charities. Anyone can spend their own money supporting the "worthy cause" of their choice, but you do not have a right to force all Americans to financially back your pet issue.
I've turned off comments on this post because I'm tired of having to read pointless bullshit from pretentious morons.
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