I think poor and marginalized women, especially exited women who are destitute, always lose in any cross-class coalition. And feminism is no exception. And all the feminists with money, the rich academics and lawyers, they won’t help poor prostituted/exited women with anything because their privilege-clinging, power-overing trumps our human rights.
The majority of “feminists” who have colonized the abolition movement, treat exited women with contempt, scorn, derision, and ridicule as they shove us aside and push their own agenda ahead of what really amounts to a global humanitarian crisis of epic proportion that is far more important than anyone’s arrogance, selfishness, and vanity.
It has not gone unnoticed by me that many of these same “feminists” in the abolition movement were all up in arms over Rush Limbaugh publicly calling Sandra Fluke a “slut” and a “prostitute” for saying that women need birth control.
Yet, these same women seem to feel that it’s perfectly OK for the actual prostituted/exited women to be thrown away time and time again in the name of “political strategy” and being “pragmatic.”
When even “feminists” defend and justify throwing away the prostituted women in the name of “strategy” and “pragmatism”, what sort of message is sent to women still trapped in the sex industry—especially when the routine abuse, re-traumatizing, silencing, and cruel ridiculing (all which constitutes “abuse”, BTW) of exited women by our “allies” proves the pimps and traffickers right when they say “once a whore, always a whore?”
Who is REALLY benefiting from such “activism” and “political strategy?”
Do you all have ANY idea how triggering that is for exited women living with PTSD, struggling in deep poverty unable to get our/their basic human needs met while knowing full well that we were thrown away by society which is how most of us ended up being sexually exploited to begin with?
The sad truth is that almost NOBODY cares about poor prostituted/exited women. And the tiny few real allies who do care—regardless of their sex and gender or political affiliations—are crowded out by opportunists claiming to be feminists, who are really only out for themselves. They only care about using poor prostituted/exited women to build their nice careers and comfortable lives on while they sacrifice us in the name of “pragmatism” (which is really a fancy word for throwing the poorest and nost marginalized women under the bus) and getting in the way of any procurement of justice and disrupting the work of exited women’s PROVEN allies whom WE respect.
As Maya Angelou once said, “When someone shows you who they really are, believe them.” Well, the opportunistic predators seeking social prizes and rewards for themselves and their feminist badge-collecting have all shown THIS exited woman who they really are.
All because radical feminism was turned into a goddamn country club. It’s heartbreaking what self-centered, privilege-clinging women are doing to feminism, and more importantly to survivors. Because if radical feminism isn’t helping (or at least supporting) survivors, what the hell is it doing?
The non-prostituted and privileged women who built their nice lives on our backs have no dog in this fight and they repeatedly use destitute exited women as their poster child just to promote their own agenda, which amounts to sacrificing the very women who cannot afford to cede ANY ground at all since we never had any! And since it is the privileged. the social climbers and status-seeking female replicators of patriarchy’s hierarchical class system that comprise the majority of “feminists”, everyone else sees them as representative of feminism when they’re not. They’re representative of narcissism. Feminism has gone to hell in a hogcart. It is not the women’s liberation movement I signed up for. Non serviam!
When being exploited, hated and discarded and left unable to fend for ourselves comes from men, we understand where it’s coming from. But from women claiming to be our allies, especially feminists? That’s the real mindfuck and that is PRECISELY the cause for so much trauma for exited women in and of itself.
Andrea Dworkin must be turning over in her grave.
Jacqueline, I love your heart & mind so much. Every word you’ve said here is the white hot truth, and it is heartbreaking. We know too well what feminism is (radical or otherwise), and what it’s not, and I would like to name and create what it SHOULD BE. Maybe we should create some sort of grocery or bucket list type of deal of specific, concrete things that privileged feminists can do to be true supporters/allies and move towards sharing their power and privilege.
I think ignorance is part of the problem, as well personal barriers as you had mentioned, such as narcissism. Personal problems are things these women need to work on themselves, like through therapy. I mean, we ALL have problems, how can we not living in the horrific mind-mining, Spirit-eating colonist culture? But I find it ironic that these mean girl types will bark at exited prostituted women that they’re “too damaged” to do activism, when the reverse is true!! Some “feminists” are too wounded and angry to be effective activists and need to do some inner work on the heart and Spirit before doing politics. I cringe at the thought of me being political years back before I did my own personal healing (which is of course an ongoing process) — it would’ve been messy, embarrassing and completely ineffective to the people and causes I cared about.
I’m very grateful for today’s Andrea Dworkin’s telling the Truth — you and Rebecca Mott, who I see as today’s Dworkin’s, though I don’t like to say it too much because such comparisons take away from the unique awesomeness that is you and Rebecca. Question though: you say that radical feminism was founded by/sprung from Dworkin’s work, right? Was it her that literally created & named radical feminism, or was it her supporters that named it so?
“Feminism has gone to hell in a hogcart” — LOLOL! I love you woman.
[…] Poll: What Do You Think of Feminism?. […]
I feel like the biggest issue with femininism is the same thing that is wrong with all liberation philosophies. Rather than seeking to actually LIBERATE the people involved and destroy oppression, its goal is to join the oppressor. It’s like the nonsensical idea that if we just got a woman president, suddenly we’d have a kinder foreign policy. But the reality is, a woman who has been admitted to an oppressive system is not going to overthrow that system – she is going to join it and become the oppressor. And then we women who remain outside that system are expected to cheer her for joining it. “Yay! Now a woman is oppressing/killing/impoverishing people!” And as a black woman, I see the same thing in the black civil rights/liberation movement. The goal is “inclusion” in a violent, abusive, economically heinous system where you’ve got children in Detroit sleeping in cars (if they’re lucky). I’m supposed to cheer if a black man becomes the CEO of a chemical company that poisons millions of kids in Bangladesh. I just don’t see many people of ANY persuasion who are willing to challenge the validity of the system itself – and so I don’t see how we can have any real progress as feminists. If our goal is to join in oppression, even if we end our own oppression (which isn’t happening), we’re just shifting it to whoever is below us on the totem pole.
Hi Stacie, thank you for your comment, I couldn’t agree more with all that you’ve said. Yes, any woman or man from any marginalized status, if given the “in” to an oppressive system, will get the boot out pretty dam quickly if they work against it or throw a wrench into the machine. You just can’t do liberation within a hierarchy; liberation is to exit OUT of whatever hierarchy one is trapped in. But when survival in this culture depends ON engaging in the colonist hierarchy to whatever degree, what does one do?
Liberation = freedom, freedom to safely be yourself and do whatever you want, with no chains tying you to anything or anyone. I don’t know if it’s my own mental trap, colonized mind, or not dreaming big enough, but I just don’t know how to get out and into true freedom. My current “freedom” is working for a major company that profits big time from multi-industry exploitation and oppression, which allows me to pay my rent, put food on the table, and pay for my disabled wife’s meds, which we could never afford without my work benefits. I hate it, I feel trapped, but at the same time, I’m one of the “lucky” ones TO have a job, not be homeless, and afford life-saving medicine. It’s all so fucked up, and tiring, and spiritually draining. And I get tired of seeing, feeling and analyzing all the wrongs, I want to see, hear and do more of what is RIGHT, but it’s like swimming against the tide, in a culture that encourages and rewards us for not being human and for oppressing others; this is the nature of the colonist hetero-patriarchal beast.
I guess this tension is no different than all historical tension between the haves and have nots, the oppressors and the oppressed. Some days I feel my inner fire and feel more free and empowered; other days, I drag my weary bones and weakened Spirit through the day and wonder if or how I’ll ever get out of the drudgery and misery of it all, and all while recognizing that I have it better than many. It could be a lot worse, but it could be a lot better too!
As a white working-class, yet college educated woman, I have found myself distanced from women I thought were my friends for “showing my roots.” Not making it into the “middle-class” with all its attendant status markers and pretensions is being immature, a failure, lacking ambition, “afraid of success,” losing. It’s not o.k. to be working class. It’s not o.k. to be angry. It’s not o.k. to speak plainly. It’s not o.k. to talk about how women hurt women. It’s not o.k. to NOT want “help” or advice about how to be. It’s not o.k. to talk about money and lacking it. It’s not o.k. to be overwhelmed. It’s not o.k. to challenge the privileged views of women who think breaking the glass ceiling is THE measure of feminist success.
The poor, minority women, transgendered, gay people, and the people who have been used in the seamy under-belly of patriarchy, these are the voices closest to the flames of misogynist rage, patriarchal violence, and capitalist disdain. That’s way too many people for white middle class women to lift up with technocratic solutions and business advice.
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