Dear Jezebel and Others Who Deny / Minimize / Distort the Profound Harm of Porn/Prostitution

This post is a response to this Jezebel article claiming that second wave anti-porn feminists were wrong, that porned/prostituted women are actually emotionally healthy and OMG YAY super empowered with no childhood sex abuse history (the perfect grooming FOR the abuse that is porn/prostitution, though obviously not all have this history, but many do), and that it just comes down to being comfortable with one’s nudity.  These claims are made while conveniently omitting the normalized rape, degradation, violence and torture of women that makes UP the majority of porn which has only gotten worse in its brutality since second wave feminism.  So to the article’s claims I say:

Exhibit A  

Exhibit B

Exhibit C

Exhibit D

Exhibit E

Exhibit F

Exhibit G

Exhibit H

Exhibit I

Exhibit J

Exhibit K

Exhibit L

Exhibit M

Exhibit N

Exhibit O

Exhibit P

Exhibit Q

Exhibit R

Exhibit S

Exhibit T

Exhibit U

Exhibit V

And many, many, MANY more.  Sidenote:  Many of the above links are about prostitution — the only difference between porn and prostitution is a camera and shelf-life of the paid rapes & tortures caught on film versus the much shorter shelf life of the “actors” in it and their brutalized bodies and psyches.  Thus we must consider porn & prostitution one and the same when learning and talking about the sex trade.

For those who dismiss the above-linked evidence and arrogantly demand “objective scientific studies”, I say NO.  Such studies do exist, but deniers just dismiss them as “faulty science/methodology” which is a buncha bunk.  Some of us refuse to participate in running around circles and circles of nothingness that make up the religion of Science and its non-existent “objectivity”.

Oral history (in this case, sex trade survivors’ narratives and research based ON such narratives such as on this site) is just as, if not MORE legitimate than precious “objective scientific studies” because education via oral tradition is ALL of our traditional way of learning since we all come from indigenous cultures and tribes before colonization began mining our minds and eating our Spirits in its project of dehumanization.  The dominant predatory industrial-colonist culture and its so-called “progress” decided the written word is superior, and then only the “scientific” written word.  Sorry, not buying it. but thanks for the sales pitch.

So folks, demanding different kind of “research” to prove porn/prostitution and the entire sex trade is harmful is just arrogant.  What you get is what you get, and we must tap into our basic Human Intelligence to decipher what makes sense to our hearts.  This kind of basic human intelligence is in everyone, and not taught in the formal school system — in fact it is stripped and colonized out of us in school to turn us into inhumane industrialized robots mindlessly consuming things like so-called objective scientific studies while “debating” on and on about things like falsifiability, methodology, yada yada yawn = circles around circles of nothingness; loud, shiny smokescreens of bullshit to skirt, slither around, and do ridiculous mind-numbing mental gymnastics all to avoid the HEART of the matter – in this case, that the sex trade is sexual slavery and torture, a crime against humanity; it profoundly harms the vast majority of mostly females who are in it and it MUST END!

The men who demand a class of women to sexually enslave, rape and torture are our brothers, fathers, sons, co-workers, boyfriends, neighbors, they’re everywhere.  We need to be having some serious conversations with them, NOT catering to their selfish desires by pretending porn/prostitution/the sex trade is or can somehow be made harm-free.

So please, show some RESPECT to survivors of the sex trade because they are the ultimate experts and authorities on the matter, and listen to what they tell us about the REAL realities of the sex trade.  Prioritize their voices.  Anything less is inhumane.

I dedicate this song to the selfish men who create the demand for the sex trade and to the corporate causes upholding it, all resulting in the wounding of humanity (theirs and most especially the bodies & psyches they slave trade in):

Lyrics:

corporate causes with self-served denial
the raping of the land [girls & women]
collapse
the lungs malfunction
they never learned to breathe

breathe!

rusted syringes and half-thought disposal
a burial at sea
waste water graveyard
swimming in disease

breathe!

this is the world [the sex trade]
it’s not working
this is this earth

breathe! breathe, you fucker!

children gasping the second-hand air
death and desperation
we’ve got to cut the lies with truth
we breathe

breathe!

this is the world
the clock’s ticking
is this this earth?

breathe! breathe, you fucker!

hope springs eternal but there’s no conviction
action mistaken for ransom is paid
all this concern is the true contradiction
the world is insane

breathe!

this is the world
it’s got no future
is this this earth?

breathe! breathe, you fucker! [and STOP consuming girls & women!]

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33 thoughts on “Dear Jezebel and Others Who Deny / Minimize / Distort the Profound Harm of Porn/Prostitution

  1. Zoonzay says:

    I think you are awesome. Chi Miigwech for all the hard work you do and voicing what needs to be heard and helping those who feel silenced learn how to scream their truths!!!!

    • Feminist Rag says:

      Thanks Zoonzay! These truths must be screamed until the demand for the “right” to rape and torture women ENDS! We are all implicated in this crime against humanity and it’s all of our responsibility to do whatever we are able to make it stop. xoxo

  2. I love this post so much. thankyou SO MUCH for writing it and seeing through the bullshit.

  3. So often i get ‘ BUT YOU’RE JUST ONE EXPERIENCE, YOU CAN’T APPLY YOUR EXPERIENCE TO ALL!’ hysteria shouted at me. I never claim to speak for all, ever, not once. What i am doing is sharing my story. It’s not an uncommon one, but denyers will just dismiss it as ONE extremely ‘unusual’ story. which it isn’t. and they know it isn’t, which is what makes them freak out so much. Then when confronted with scientific research which proves that the majority were somehow coerced or otherwised mavouvered into the industry, they claim it is ‘dodgy’ and ignore all other research that they can’t poke holes in. And this is from people involved in the industry, people one would think would give a shit.

    • Feminist Rag says:

      Thank you so much for your comments and for telling your story, it is because of voices like yours that I CAN see through the bullshit. Those of us who aren’t in the life don’t know the realities of it, so all we have to go on is other people’s words. And I suppose “scientific studies” which I trust as far as I can throw. They’re usually too bland for my liking anyway cuz I prefer Real Talk. Except for studies like Farley’s because they have HEART. It’s not the god forsaken “research methodologies” that make these studies good or bad, it’s what they SAY. And the deniers’ denials of the studies is just white noise because there is no HEART in their arguments. It’s all so crystal clear. (lol @ the deniers all caps hysteria – that really sums it up!)

      When survivors speak out, your words are so clear, coherent and speak straight to the heart and Spirit, it is impossible to DISbelieve you unless someone has no heart and their soul is deeply buried. I have HUGE respect for all exited women who so bravely speak their Truths. You all are a truly fierce & admirable bunch. The more voices that speak out, the louder the roar becomes that The Public can’t help BUT listen and ACT!

      When you say those in the industry who deny should give a shit, do you mean the profiteers? Cuz their greedy inhumane asses have every reason to deny, so they can keep raking in the profits of their slavery. Or did you mean the prostituted still trapped in it?

      • I think I mean yes the profiteers, definitely, but also the punters, there were many of them, and the most awful are the girls that are working in the industry. For them to disregard me and dismiss me is just appalling and makes me lose all faith in humanity. However, the worst i think, are the ‘sex positive’ feminists who want to believe something so desperately that they will dismiss and silence me and others like me as ‘not able to handle the job’ and ‘the work isn’t suited to everyone’ etc etc, not to mention one woman who told me that abuse often leads to further abuse, ie, the abuse i went through prior to working, made me somehow more suspectiple to abusive punters. which is obviously bullshit. ugh. People like you writing and talking about it and being so angry and outspoken are so needed and thankyou with all of my tiny heart for doing that X

      • Feminist Rag says:

        Wow the denials and dismissals come from so many angles, how maddening that must be! Do you think the girls still working in the industry disregard and dismiss you cuz they just haven’t gotten to the point of clarity you have yet and are still in denial-survival mode to work? Either way though their responses must sting.

        And wow @ the sex positive feminists and the one telling you your prior abuse made you more susceptible to abusive punters???!?!?!? From a so-called feminist?!?!? WOW just when I thought this whole nightmare couldn’t get more fucked that just topped it. I don’t care what label a person has, that is just such a fucked up thing to think/say and speaks to how much work our culture needs to do to regain its humanity. I’m still kinda shocked that came from a feminist, though maybe I shouldn’t be cuz feminism never ceases to amaze me.

        Re. my writing: you’re welcome, it is a privilege & honor for me to connect with exited women, you all teach me so much and I can’t help but scream when I see bullshit like this Jezebel article; ignoring/dismissing/silencing Truth speakers hits a very deep nerve with me and exited women have SUCH important Truths to tell that need so badly to be heard so that Change can come!

        Much Love to you, you say you have a tiny heart but it comes across pretty big through your words, and many thanks to you for your courage in speaking out, it takes so much guts. ❤

      • the ‘sex positive’ feminists are the worst, because they don’t have a fucking clue what they are talking about, the audacity of some of the things they say to survivors is frightening. I would be humbled hearing words of someone, anyone, whose experience is something I have never and will never even remotely be able to relate to, I would be so humbled, and mostly I would want to to learn from them. I would want to listen and learn. But not these guys because they know that if they listened then their made up perspective would be challenged.

      • Feminist Rag says:

        That is so true. I think it’s an ego thing, and behind ego is insecurity; it’s a shame that their ego-driven behavior causes so much hurt and gets in the way of abolition. If they and other deniers really cared about Truth, they would be open to it and humbly take it in, as you so eloquently describe.

    • lee says:

      one voice, not even yours, is actually evidence. all of the linear evidence shows that their is no link between porn and crime of any sort. that has been the case since Nixon first demanded that the evidence was looked for in 1970

      • lee says:

        that should read “there”. having a blond moment

      • Feminist Rag says:

        Thanks for your comment lee. Linear kind of thinking/living/behaving is a big problem and a symptom of the many dis-eases created by the unhealthy colonist culture, which this blog tries to step out of.

  4. This was exceptionally well stated! Your writing is excellent and I love the amount of evidence you gathered to support your position. I agreed with you before reading this, but now even more so. I can’t believe people are still fooled by studies that are clearly self serving to those who profit and ignore the reality of people victimized.

    • Feminist Rag says:

      Thanks Michelle; I think the fooling comes from giving up too much power and submitting to the great religion of science and not enough power given to one’s own common sense and Spiritual compass of right and wrong.

  5. Excellent piece. I had a hard time buying that article in Jezebel and the research it is based on. There may be some women in the sex industry who are there willingly and came from a healthy childhood/background, but I suspect they are the exception rather than the rule.

    • Feminist Rag says:

      Agreed. And that small exception sure does make a lot of noise to hold so hard onto its privilege while throwing the vast majority of harmed under the bus.

      • lee says:

        a bit like the radical feminist bunch. a tiny but noisy minority

      • Feminist Rag says:

        Except that in this case, radfems (and others) are listening to, and standing in solidarity with the many sex trade survivors coming forward one after the other (if they’re not drowning in trauma), testifying to the profoundly harmful & traumatic nature of the sex trade. Then the noise is made — how can we not outcry such injustice? –> when we lose touch with our humanity, that’s how. I’m glad the noise is being heard.

    • Thank you for writing this! A friend sent me that Jezebel piece, and I wrote a looong email about how Jezebel often uses sensationalist headlines and reporting to make very one-sided simplistic arguments. I do think that there are women out there in the sex industry who have choices, but to take a sample size of 170 women and make a broad claim about the industry as a whole? So freaking infuriating. I loathe lazy arguments.

  6. Yasmin says:

    @dublincallgirl. It is so sad you had to make your blog private because of the haters and misogynist. I loved reading it although I have not been reading it for the past few months as I was busy. I am just wondering how does one get invited to be able to read your blog.

  7. […] One thing you should know is that pro-sex trade voices often try to discredit studies that say the sex trade is harmful by trying to shred apart things like “research methodologies” of such studies; these kind of arguments are usually just smokescreens that try to divert from the heart of the issue.  For more about this, as well as links to some awesome, informed & powerful sex trade survivor-abolitionist voices, go here. […]

  8. SO I’m commenting again a bit later, but have you been following the Steubenville rape case, and Traci Lords coming out about how she had been raped there, which she blames for going into porn? It’s very sad 😦

    • Feminist Rag says:

      Hi listengf’s, thanks for the note. No I haven’t been following the case or Lords’s story so I just did some reading up on it. Wow. So tragic and outrageous, though the online hacker vigilantes are awesome, sounds like they elevated the Steubenville story and issue to a national level and did some great exposing of rape apologists. The rape culture is being exposed, story after story. The Law will never address the cultural cancer of male violence, but it’s great that the issue is getting so much media attention because it gets everyone talking. Traci Lords’ story is very sad and so common of the vast majority of women and girls who end up in the sex slavery trade.

  9. Chocolattruffaut says:

    Thank you so much for this piece, and for all the work abolitionists and exited women do to end female oppression! I have to say that I hate Jezebel with its postmodern “sex positivity,” its commenters’ refusal to listen to radical feminist voices and even acknowledge women as a class, blindness to their own privilege, and general way of talking like 15 year olds from the Valley in 1980. Usually the dialogue persists thusly:
    1. Radical feminists: “Porn/prostitution feeds into the idea that women and girls are nothing more than body parts who are always available for men to rape and humiliate. By factoring in money, this removes the idea of ‘choice’ due to the widespread economic oppression experienced by women as a class”
    2. Jezebel commenter who is a high end sex worker, most likely in a “classy” strip club or expensive call girl, most likely white form a middle class background, educated, has other options available but chose sex work b/c of the money/male approval/ some weird ass hipster irony I’m too bourgeois to understand: ” I choose my choice! Sex work is fun and I’m empowered! By not claiming my experience as universal YOU are the real oppressor! Feminism is about choices and you want to take my living away, and why are you using VIOLENT language?!”
    I honestly saw one such sex worker respond to a commenter who brought up how WOC are the ones working on the streets for low wages and face high levels of violence with this: “Oh you mean LIKE IN EVERY JOB EVER? Why are you demonizing the sex industry when it happens every where else?” How the hell has feminism come to this?
    As a radical feminist in her early twenties, I’m so glad I can find spaces filled with smart and amazing women like this blog.

    • Feminist Rag says:

      Hey Chocolattruffaut, my deepest apologies for a very belated reply to your great comment! Firs of all, LOL @ “some weird ass hipster irony I’m too bourgeois to understand” – HA!

      Secondly, wow that you’re in your early 20’s and have such a critical mind! I came late in the game into my own awareness and critical thinking, so brava to you! Well, as a kid I was very curious and critical-thinking, but then the colonist-patriarchy knocked the wind out of my sails for some time, but I’m happy to say I recovered and reclaimed my Self. As far as I’m concerned, it’s a miracle any woman mentally liberates herself given how loud and thick the misogynous scrips around us are. Thank you interwebz for helping this along!

      Yeah, the sex slavery industry “choice” rhetoric is tricky business isn’t it? I try to acknowledge these allegedly empowered ‘sex workers’ but it’s tough because you never know how many of them are full out liars and just men or madams marketing the industry, or on the other hand, they could be prostituted women in denial and trying to hold hard onto the little power and control they think they have. Some exited women say they too were those women when they were ‘in the life’, fiercely defending their “choice” and wanting anyone who seemed to care, to fuck off. So it’s tricky territory to navigate, especially on the internet, when you don’t know who you’re dealing with.

      For those few who really HAVE chosen this “work”, and they do exist, I say good for them, but to not be so selfish and think about their less lucky sisters who aren’t so empowered and liberated as sex slaves. One guy I was talking to on FB not long ago was really getting on my nerves, he kept talking about consent and how porn can and should focus on this more, and I said “why do you keep insisting we look to the group who is fine and dandy when there’s a whole group of women screaming about torture and genocide? Is your selfish “need” for porn really that important and blinding you to this reality?”, to which he just kept slipping and sliding around and not wanting to fully acknowledge, let alone try to figure out solutions, to the “other side”. I dunno, these convos are very difficult to have, and men’s sexual greed and lack/inability to empathize never ceases to astound me. This is where I get stuck, how to get through to these types? And he would probably be considered one of the more enlightened men in these types of convos!

      Would love to hear any ideas you have on any of this, and thanks again for your comment!

  10. silkyvelvet says:

    I arrived at this discussion rather late, but I feel compelled to say: Wonderful article – thank you so much! Due to the crass insensitivity and the general stupidity of Jezebel’s so-called “sex-positive” (what a stupid phrase!) articles, I’ve stopped reading Jezebel. And it’s not just Jezebel. I’ve read blogs from some individual women who “CLAIM” to be prostitutes (*cough* cough*), who rant on and on about how hookers and other sex workers are living the life of Riley all the time, and that literally ALL women who are prostitutes had blissfully happy childhoods, and weirdly claiming there’s no connection between sexual abuse of a young girl and her tendency as an adult women to feel drawn into a life of prostitution, Any time I’ve tried to debate their claims, using my own experiences as a prostitute who had indeed been sexually molested as a young girl, these bloggers state what dublincallgirl brought up: “BUT YOU’RE JUST ONE EXPERIENCE, YOU CAN’T APPLY YOUR EXPERIENCE TO ALL!” As if I would really do that. And then they have the arrogance to say no women in prostitution are being exploited and that no pimps are violent. Sometimes I get the feeling that at least some of these “sex-positive” bloggers and activists might not have ever have been involved in the sex business at all. Additionally, they don’t seem to care about women and girls who’ve been sexually exploited in prostitution, and they don’t even seem to care about young girls who’ve been sexually molested at home. They only seem to be interested in making money off the lecture circuit.

    • Feminist Rag says:

      Hello! Thank you for your comment. It must be SO maddening to get such cruel, thoughtless responses to your *lived experience* which is the BEST evidence of all. These are very difficult conversations to have with the so-called sex positive brigade. What a bastardization of the term! To be sex positive is to be anti-sex trade in all its objectifying, dehumanizing forms! As someone with no lived experience in it, I do not dare be so arrogant as to dismiss powerful survivor voices bravely speaking the Truth about the sex trade. I acknowledge that some “sex workers” to freely choose this work, but they do not have my priority or attention because they are doing just fine, so why do we need to pay them any mind? They can keep doing what they do, nothing will change that; it’s those being harmed, that we have to look to change the conditions that create it. I feel that decolonizing of people’s hearts and minds is the way out of this nightmare (as well as all others) because it means becoming fully, wholly human, and full, whole human beings do not treat others so cruelly and thoughtlessly.

      Thanks again for dropping by, I appreciated your thoughtfulness and humor. 🙂

  11. lee says:

    so anybody who disagrees with you is just wrong and should be ignored. think about that for a while?

    • silkyvelvet says:

      Actually, it’s these “sex positive activists” who tend to be the intolerant ones – refusing to acknowledge that sexual trafficking of women and girls really does exist.

      • Feminist Rag says:

        lee, silkyvelvet is right, it’s the “sex positive” people who often refuse to acknowledge the brutal, violent reality that anti-pornstitution/trafficking voices keep trying to explain, they don’t usually add anything to the conversation as their arguments tend to ignore and silence the others, you know what I mean? It’s like saying “hey, there’s a burning bus over there, we need to do something about it!” and someone else saying in reply, “yeah but look at the bus over here, it’s not burning!” What does that do for the burning bus, and those in it?

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