by Furry Girl

03.26.12

The other week, I was having an email exchange with a friend about our shared annoyance with "strong" feminists who, if the slightest conflict surfaces, or the smallest perceived act of "sexism" is discovered, act like embarrassing crybabies and demand that women be handled with kid gloves because women are oh-so-fragile.  It just struck me that this issue is perfectly reflected in an exchange from Heathers.

The lead character in this dark comedy, played by Winona Ryder, is having a precocious speech at her parents about how teenagers deserve respect.

To her mother: "All we want is to be treated like human beings, not experimented on like guinea pigs, or patronized like bunny rabbits."

Mom responds: "Treated like human beings?  Is that what you said, little miss voice-of-a-generation?  Just how do you think adults act with other adults?  You think it's all just a game of doubles tennis?  When teenagers complain that they want to be treated like human beings, it's usually because they are being treated like human beings."

When feminists complain that they want women to be treated like equals, it's often in situations where women are being treated like equals, rather than being given delicate guidance so that they are never exposed to anything that may offend or challenge them.  If one argues (overtly or tacitly) that women are entitled to special treatment and protections, you're really saying that females are inherently the weaker sex, and cannot be expected to function in a mixed-gender environment without being coddled.  (A sexist belief which I do not share with feminists, of course.)





by Furry Girl

03.12.12

"...let's stop blaming men ('all-male church,' 'mostly-male Congress,' 'male-run Fox News,' etc.) for doing all this bad stuff to women.

Women vote to put anti-sex politicians in office; a majority of women voted for Republicans in the 2010 Congressional election.  Women support the churches that keep anti-sex politicians in office.  Women buy the newspapers and consume the radio and TV programs (like Rush's) that promote moral panics about sexuality.

And let's remember that when women get political power they typically act like men when it comes to sex.  Both Michelle Bachman and Sarah Palin are aghast about Rush—not about what he said, but about how he’s been held accountable for it.  And virtually every female Republican governor and Congressmember of the last decade has voted to restrict access to abortion and birth control."

-- Dr Marty Klein, in It’s Not A War On Women—It’s A War On Sex on sexualintelligence.wordpress.com

 





by Furry Girl

02.06.12

"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."

-- Shona McCombes, In defence of fake beauty on thefword.org.uk

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

09.29.11

I'm seeking the best links about leading anti-sex worker activists and groups to add to the opposition page on SWAAY.org.  (Most of the page was already compiled from the extensive notes kept by sex-positivity rockstar Megan Andelloux.)  I'm looking for two types of things: blog posts, articles, and videos debunking them, and particularly offensive articles and videos where the person describes their politics in their own words.  (Everything some of these people say offends the shit out of me, but sometimes they sound more crazy and cruel than other times.)

So please, post your suggestions in the comments.  I am currently looking to create and expand profiles on the following people and organizations, but am open to other suggestions, too.

* Catherine MacKinnon
* Gail Dines
* Donna Hughes
* DNA Foundation
* Melissa Farley
* Michael Leahy
* Pamela Paul
* The Coalition Against Trafficking in Women
* Shelley Lubben
* Shared Hope International
* Captive Daughters
* Robert Brannon
* Janice Raymond
* Craig Gross
* Lisa Thompson
* Robert Jensen
* Rebecca Whisnant
* Janice Crouse
* Karen McLaughlin

In general, I aim to use SWAAY.org to 1) get normal people interested in sex work issues and informed of the basics and terminology, and then 2) funnel them to more specific resources written for various topics.  I'm not trying to be lazy - I truly believe that someone else has already done a better job of writing about many topics than I could.  So, point me to those links!

(Also, I'm still trying to populate the "respect" section of the site with tips from an array of current and former sex workers, so check out the submissions page.)





by Furry Girl

08.17.11

I am utterly baffled that I have to explain these things, but the sexy mommy mob is still hysterical after my comments on Twitter last week that feminist darling Madison Young is creepy-as-fuck for how she uses her baby as a non-consenting prop for her sexual politics and porn marketing.  I don't expect to change any minds, and I'm not allowing comments on this post because I was sick of this topic days ago.  But, since people are asking me for a "statement," and the sexy mommy mob is intent on growing this "story" into some kind of national outrage, I might was well clearly explain my position in one place.  (I do appreciate seeing how, as this "story" moves out of the feminist porn scene, some other people share these opinions.)

The big take-home point that some people are missing: It's all about context.  I am against breast feeding in places where people go to masturbate.  Madison's posting of breast feeding photos and videos in her Twitter stream and on other sex-themed web sites is appalling to me.  It's no different than breast feeding on stage at a strip club.  Madison has spent her career making everything she does about sex.  There's nothing wrong with that, of course.  I'm a sex-loving pornographer myself!  But you can't spend most of a decade purposefully building an environment where people come to masturbate and then feign confusion when someone like me "mistakes" that environment for being sexual.

It's hard to plead "there is absolutely nothing sexual about these photos/videos" when they are posted in sexualized spaces and/or crafted to look sexy.  The most famous image shows Madison as a Marilyn Monroe knockoff.  I've seen photos of other women breast feeding, and none of them bothered to put on a sexy dress and get their hair and makeup done first.  For most moms with breast feeding photos, I bet they're probably wearing yesterday's sweatpants and looking exhausted, not trying to liken themselves to a famous sex icon.

I've been told that it's beyond Madison's control if sick people are aroused by her sexy breast feeding images.  But if she would never want to encourage people to jerk off to photos of her baby, she should stop posting them in a place where she typically posts porn.  Aside from all the innocent masturbators who clicked a blind link because they thought it was going to be kinky sex pics, who wants to see sexy breast feeding?  Most of us would call them pedophiles.  Best case scenario, Madison's sexy breast feeding schtick is an attention-getting ploy to sell her persona's "realness" so people will buy her "real" porn.  Worst case scenario, Madison is knowingly creating masturbation material for pedophiles.  Either way, it's revolting.  (At what point does one cross over from sexualizing having a baby to sexualizing the baby?)

Madison's loyal fans have spent the last few days calling me an ignorant and cruel monster for taking Madison to task, but what about the actual victim, Madison's baby?

This issue is also about consent.  The baby is not consenting to being used as a marketing gimmick for her mother's porn persona.  There is a huge difference between consenting adults engaging in exhibitionism, and forcing creepy, pedophile-courting public voyeurism on a non-consenting baby.  I am an exhibitionist myself, but I would never drag anyone into my kinks who isn't consenting to be a part of a scene.  For all anyone knows, Madison's kid will be traumatized by her upbringing in public, and end up feeling extremely violated by the sexual attention Madison subjected her to as a child.  Would you have wanted your mother breast feeding you for attention from horny adults, and for evidence of that to be online and linked to you forever?

I am against people using their children as props to serve an agenda.  Madison's use of her daughter to push her politics is no different than when anti-abortion protesters or the Westboro Baptist Church uses their own unwitting small children as props.  Kids aren't political tools to leverage for shock value, they're actual human beings who will one day be adults with their own set of opinions.  To assume that Madison's baby will grow up and be thrilled that her mother used her to get attention for her porn persona is offensive and sad to me.  Several have pointed out that I'm "no different," since I tweet photos of my cat.  But, here's the key nuance they can't grasp: my cat will never be a sentient adult human with his own beliefs and a non-interest in being caught up in my pervy internet trail.

The sexy mommy mob doesn't like these "anti-sex worker" and "sexist" arguments, so they've turned it into a matter of rebutting things I never said.

I never said that no woman should be allowed to breast feed.  I am not against breast feeding in public or private, I am against doing it in sexualized contexts.  I would feel the same way if someone whipped out a baby at a swinger's club, so it's not just about the internet or porn.

I never said that sex workers (or kinksters) should not be allowed to have children, or that mothers can't be sexy.  I have a number of kinky and sex working friends who are parents, and I know some sexy moms.  They, however, possess good sense and boundaries and don't force their offspring to be a part of their exhibitionism and work.  The kinky and sex working parents I know create separation between their lives, they definitely don't seek to combine them at every turn to prove how transgressive they can be.  Not because my friends are prudes, but because they understand that it's deeply inappropriate to mix small children and horny adults.

I never said that no one should be allowed to photograph their kids or photograph breast feeding.  I didn't comb through the Flickr pages of strangers until I found a random mother to criticize.  I'm specifically talking about a porn star who is using her baby as an attention-getting prop in sexualized contexts.

This is not some kind of anti-"lesbian" hate crime.  Madison is married to her male dominant/master, and I mostly fuck men, too.  She and I are basically in the same boat, the difference being that I don't obsessively market myself as queer.  I fail to see how my criticizing her constitutes an attack on "being queer," but some people are really grasping at straws for new ways to frame Madison as a victim of an injustice.

Stepping back...

I hate what stuff like this does to the credibility of sex workers and pornographers as a whole.  People like me try to tell regular folk that porn and sex work is about consenting adults, not weird stuff with kids and/or the non-consenting.  To the sexy mommy mob, Madison is the greatest hero of her generation, but what about the other 99.999999% of America, the majority we need to get on our side in order to make any advancements for sex workers?  If you seal yourself in the safe bubble of San Francisco, surrounded by adoring fans, then of course you're not going to care how you might be damaging the movement for acceptance of sex workers and porn.

I'm surprised that people like Gail Dines and Melissa Farley haven't seized upon Madison's baby fetish as yet another way to attack all of us.  This is exactly the sort of thing they live to hold up as a non-representative example of how we're all horrible people.  Anti-sex work activist Donna Hughes threw a fit a year ago when a small sexuality conference apparently allowed in a high school senior.  For this, the organizer was branded, basically, a dangerous predator going after America's helpless children.  If letting a consenting 17-year-old hear about sexuality is enough for the antis to launch a campaign that says kink bloggers are basically child molesters, I wonder what they would think of a porn star sexualizing the breast feeding of a baby?  But of course, if the antis get wind of the controversy that Madison and her fans are so desperately trying to publicize, she will not be the one addressing the hard questions.  She has her feminist porn "revolution" to worry about, and the rest of us - especially her baby girl - can go eat cake.





by Furry Girl

07.16.11

A favorite photo of mine from when I was in Buenos Aires.  That city has sex work ad cards all over the place, like you would see in Las Vegas.

Yesterday, Argentina's president Cristina Fernandez banned sex work ads in print, supposedly to combat sex trafficking.  Fernandez is Argentina's former first lady who succeeded her husband to the presidency, and is the country's first elected female president.  She drew criticism as a senator for having unfair influence through her husband's office as the president, and her most commonly mentioned personality traits are her love of fashion and being unable to handle criticism.

With an election coming up in October, people are asking questions about whether her true motive on banning the adult ads is simply to take advertising dollars away from newspapers who don't favor her.  This could be another sad case of sex workers getting caught in the middle, and bearing the dangerous fallout, of other people's political ambitions.

Highlights from the Rueter's article for those of you short on time:

Argentina's government is banning prostitution ads in newspapers and other mass media as of Friday, saying it is combatting violence against women.

[...]

But some of the president's opponents fear it may be used to punish opposition media this election year by removing an independent source of revenue for an industry that in many cases depends on official advertising, a flow of revenue that press freedom groups say has been unequally directed toward the government's supporters.

[...]

Fernandez specifically took aim at the newspaper Clarin, a frequent antagonist. She cited the opposition paper's Area 59 section as particularly unethical. Area 59 has included columns of ads for escorts, "gym teachers" ''massage therapists" and "underwear models" offering "pleasures without limits." Until now.

[...]

In Argentina, most media organizations are aligned either with the Fernandez government or its opposition. Many on both sides have run solicitations for sexual encounters. But Grupo Clarin's conglomerate of newspapers, magazines, broadcast stations, internet providers and web sites may have the most to lose.

Marketing director Emiliano Szlaien of the LectorGlobal media research firm estimated the ban could cost the Grupo Clarin $5 million.





by Furry Girl

07.12.11

"One hardly ever sees mention of prostitution anymore where human sex trafficking is not also invoked.  It's bizarre, this assumption that the vast majority of men are not only paying for sex, but willing to pay for sex with unwilling partners.  Says a lot about what the people making these assumptions think of men, I guess."

-- Dr Brooke Magnanti, in Sex + Sport = Trafficking Hype on sexonomics-uk.blogspot.com





by Furry Girl

06.20.11

"At least the Salvationists are up-front about their religious motivation.  If anything they tend, as individuals, to be considerably less judgemental than their ideologically-driven counterparts in the feminist movement.  As regards their motivation and objectives, there's little to choose between the two groups: they use the same language of degradation and objectification, and they share the same fundamentally conservative view of a woman's "proper" sexual role.  When it comes to sexual illiberalism, religious and feminist groups have long been in covert and sometimes overt agreement.  Yes, the Salvation Army probably at some level want to convert the women they rescue to Christianity.  But [British anti-sex worker group] Eaves want to convert them to their brand of doctrinaire feminism.  Is that really any better?"

-- The Heresiarch, in Feminists and Evangelicals compete to rescue fallen women on heresycorner.blogspot.com





by Furry Girl

05.25.11

"I realize that talking shit about strippers might make you feel better about yourself, or justify to you why you think you are a better person/girlfriend/mother/whatever.  We can hear you, and it's dehumanizing.  Believe it or not, comments like, 'That one's so ugly,' 'Ugh, my boobs are so much nicer,' 'At least I don’t have (xyz flaw),' etc. do hurt girls.  This is my body.  I do hear nasty remarks that are made by women, even when you think you're being quiet.  It's hurtful in a deeply personal way.  I am not a flawless body… I'm a human being."

-- Piper, in Women Customers on strippr.tumblr.com

 





by Furry Girl

05.11.11

"Abolitionist feminists see sex work as coercive and violent and sex workers as 'prostituted victims' in need of rescue.  Abolitionist feminists are frequently socially and economically privileged citizens of the global north who use their economic and political clout to support and promote the 'rescue industry'.

[...]

By portraying all sex work as violent and all sex workers as naive victims desperate for rescue, abolitionist feminists perpetuate patriarchal stereotypes and silence the very people they are supposedly trying to help.  By refusing to support sex workers in their quest for legitimacy and recognition as workers, they are condemning sex workers to lives in the shadows."

-- Natasha Burge, in Selling Sex: How Abolitionist Feminists Hurt Sex Workers on cchronicle.com





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