isn’t radical feminism against the oppressive tools of the police force and the prison-industrial complex?
so why do so many feminists feel empowered by jailing women for trying to make a living? or are we now policing specific behaviours of women that we don’t like?
Are you fucking retarded? We want johns and pimps jailed, not prostitutes. Sex work is dehumanisation, plain and simple.
It’s a good idea to read an opposing viewpoint’s perspective before you make yourself look this stupid, OP.
Generally I don’t go out of my way to respond to people who go about shouting “retard” to anyone who disagrees with their silly little political theory. There are, surprise surprise, actual disabled people on tumblr who don’t exactly like that term, considering its use has been used to justify rape, sterilization and murder.
But you wouldn’t care about those women, right?
Or actual sex workers.
Two months before the demonstration outside the Voice, feminist icon Gloria Steinem held court in the brothels of India as part of a humanitarian junket sponsored by the NoVo Foundation, one of the largest private women’s charities in the United States. NoVo’s money is Warren Buffett’s money: $1 billion, transferred by the second wealthiest American to his son Peter, who chairs the effort along with his wife, Jennifer. Steinem accompanied Peter and Jennifer Buffett on a tour of Sonagachi, Calcutta’s biggest red light district. Steinem came away from her visit with an astounding proposal: What would really benefit the women who worked there—whom she described to the Calcutta Telegraph as “prostituted,” characterizing their condition as “slavery”—would be to end sexual health services and peer education programs in brothels, programs that have been recognized by the United States Agency for International Development as best-practices HIV/AIDS interventions. Steinem described the women leading those health and education programs as “traffickers” and those who support them “the trafficking lobby.”
So Steinem goes and sees these poor women being exploited, and her resolution is to…destroy all their support systems. Not actually do anything to help them, just you know. Cut programs.
But it’s not about punishing sex workers. Or diminishing their access to healthcare and education.
amos is the executive director of the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women (CATW). According to promotional copy from the speaker’s bureau that represents her, Ramos is at the forefront of “one of the most ignored and tragic social justice issues that affects our world.” She takes credit (with some exaggeration) for shutting down Craigslist’s “Erotic Services” listings, where anyone with an email address used to be able to post an ad offering sexual services to anyone with an Internet connection. After the demise of Erotic Services, which followed years of lobbying by law enforcement agencies and the National Association of Attorneys General, many sex workers opted for Craigslist’s main competitor, Backpage.com, which saw a tremendous spike in new sex work ads. (The site, once owned by Village Voice Media, was recently split from the alt-weekly side of the business, partly due to the controversy over its content.)
Ramos’ Craigslist fight, like the Backpage campaign that followed, drove up the cost of doing business for some sex workers. After opponents used the media and congressional hearings to dubiously link Craigslist to violence and exploitation in the sex trade, Craigslist began charging $5 per post for its Erotic Services ads, arguing that credit card numbers would help police locate advertisers who had been victimized. For sex workers who could not afford the fees, the next best choice was to take on the additional physical and legal risks of soliciting on the streets. All the buzz threw a spotlight on both sites, giving cops an excuse to step up stings that put Craigslist and Backpage advertisers in jail. Now Ramos is agitating for an encore.
So Ramos sees women trying to get by and post ads to make money, and she goes instead and shuts down their main avenue of subsistence. Sure, makes sense!
But it’s not about punishing sex workers. Or sending them into worse poverty.
This next quote is long, but I mean, unless you’re “”“retarded”“” you’ll be able to read it all, right?
How Sex Work Became “Sexual Exploitation”
Feminist fights over prostitution and pornography are old news. But anti−sex work feminism has come a long way from the magazine store picket lines of the 1970s and the campus anti-porn revivals of the 1990s. “Pornography is the theory, and rape is the practice,” wrote feminist author and activist Robin Morgan in 1980. She is still around today, hosting a radio show on D.C.’s 1580 AM for the Women’s Media Center. “Prostitution is paid rape,” claims Melissa Farley, who has been fighting against sex workers since the 1990s and now produces reports for anti-prostitution organizations such as Demand Abolition. While these women once focused on ending sexual “objectification” in magazines and red light districts, today they are waging a global war that pits one class of women against another.
One architect of this shift is attorney Jessica Neuwirth, a founder of the women’s rights organization Equality Now. In a 2008 interview with Barnard College sociologist Elizabeth Bernstein, Neuwirth described the change as a move away from “an earlier wave of consciousness about exploitation that took both pornography and prostitution almost together as a kind of commercial sexual exploitation of women.” The rewrite was necessary, Bernstein explained in the journal Theory and Society, because the outright prohibition of porn and prostitution was not popular, putting feminists at odds with liberal allies such as the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). “They got battered down by ACLU types,” Neuwirth told Bernstein. “By re-situating these issues in terms of the ‘traffic in women’ overseas and as a violation of international commitments to women’s human rights,” Bernstein explained, “they were able to wage the same sexual battles unopposed.”
These battles were now being fought in the name of combating “sexual exploitation,” “sex trafficking,” and “sex slavery.” The activism has shifted to the realm of international law. In 2000 anti−sex work feminists attempted to push their redefinition of sex work into the U.N. Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children. Norma Ramos and her allies wanted the protocol, which is intended to formally define trafficking across U.N. programs and to promote collaboration among U.N. member states in order to protect the rights of people who are trafficked, to define all prostitution as “trafficking.” According to the Paulo Longo Research Initiative scholar Jo Doezema’s 2010 book Sex Slaves and Discourse Masters, sex workers were supported by the U.N. special rapporteur on violence against women, who rejected the prostitution/trafficking equivalence. Sex workers also opposed the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women’s substitute proposal, which described commercial sex as “sexual exploitation.”
CATW went on a media offensive, seeking to discredit their opponents, even enlisting Sen. Jesse Helms to the cause. It worked. The protocol was approved and is now signed by 117 countries, defining sex for pay as “sexual exploitation.” The protocol has given feminists legal and moral cover to target sex work under the banner of fighting trafficking.
“People have been very successful in using this term sexual exploitation in pushing legislation,” says Ann Jordan, former director of the Program on Human Trafficking and Forced Labor at American University’s Washington College of Law and an attorney who has defended the rights of trafficked persons. “Many of the people they talk to never ask them what they mean by it.” But while sex work opponents have been successful in passing laws against “sexual exploitation,” Jordan says, “they are not enforceable because no one knows what this means.”
It’s funny, because like these heads of organizations, you regurgitate the same tired catchphrases over and over again like a parrot.
But it’s not about punishing sex workers. Or deliberately confusing people through language.
On the domestic front, anti−sex work activists scored one of their biggest wins with the 2005 reauthorization of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPRA). TVPRA earmarked $50 million for law enforcement agencies to “develop and execute programs targeted at reducing male demand and to investigate and prosecute buyers of commercial sex acts.” Although ostensibly aimed at supporting victims of forced labor, TVPRA provides money for efforts to discourage men from hiring sex workers, including quasi-legal and legal activities such as escorting, pornography, stripping, and phone sex, as well as for investigating the people they attempt to hire.
So essentially what TVPRA is doing is… taking money out of women’s hands. No matter how you try to spin it, silly feminists, you’re reducing the money that sex workers are getting, which is forcing them to starve or sell off their possessions in order to live from day to day. You know that right?
But it’s not about punishing sex workers. Or sending them into worse poverty.
What happens when people in the sex trade—the people these laws supposedly are meant to protect—push back? Anti-trafficking activists often respond by denying their existence. At the June anti-Backpage protest, I watched Norma Ramos’ staff distribute fliers to passers-by cautioning them against the very term sex work, a phrase that “completely masks the physical, psychological, and sexual violence inflicted on prostituted persons,” although they had to acknowledge “it is a term that women in prostitution themselves use and prefer.”
So… radical feminism is about “We know you better than you know yourselves. You couldn’t possibly advocate for yourself, and your silly little attempts at doing so are just from false consciousness. Trust us, we really know what’s going on. You should just let us speak for you.”
But it’s not about punishing sex workers. Or removing their autonomy.
If this semantic debate seems a bit arcane for placards and fliers, the purpose was revealed 15 feet further down the sidewalk, where members of the Sex Workers Outreach Project New York (SWOP-NYC), a volunteer-based, grassroots group dedicated to improving the lives of sex workers, held a quiet counter-protest. SWOP members—current and former sex workers among them—greeted New Yorkers on their way through Greenwich Village with smiles and fliers, inviting them to throw their support behind the people who had real expertise on the sex industry. That day the police repeatedly instructed SWOP members to stay half a block away from Ramos’ people. They made no such demands of Ramos.
Interesting how these feminists tell actual sex workers to shut up to their faces when they protest against being spoken for.
With a police force.
Oh wait, what was that that silly hedonisticparadise was saying about not using the police force on women? Shit, I guess you have to rewrite them as pimps! Quick, give them the fur coat and gold cane!
But it’s not about punishing sex workers. Or silencing them.
“Putting in an earbud and picking up her pink-and-black Kate Spade-encased iPhone to dial a local police officer, Powell says urgently, ‘We have to report her now.’ ” But when the cops set up a sting operation against the advertiser, the story continues, “she said she was in fact an adult—and didn’t want help from the police or anyone else.”
Some activists view calling the cops to “rescue” people from the sex trade as the model of a successful human rights intervention. They don’t count their victories by the number of people they help; they count them by arrests.
She wanted the sex worker to be arrested. The sex worker said, no, I have my own autonomy.
Bolded: B-b-but didn’t that little heddy say that that’s not what radical feminists do?!??!?! how can one feminist be saying one thing about all feminists but another feminist be saying things about some feminists! I wonder who could possibly be wrong!?!?!??!
But it’s not about punishing sex workers. It’s about sending them outright to jail for trying to keep themselves from being starved to death. Not enough bootstraps!!!
hese tactics are part of a rise in what Elizabeth Bernstein calls “carceral feminism”; Harvard law professor Janet Halley calls it “governance feminism.” Feminists once offered a powerful critique of the criminal justice system, but that argument has faded as they have found power within it. Not surprisingly, they have found conservative allies along the way.
In redefining sex work as an issue of bad men doing bad things to enslaved young women, anti-prostitution activists have recast themselves as liberators instead of scolds, while simultaneously making their message more attractive to the social conservatives who have at times distrusted them. The conservative Heritage Foundation has taken up the cause of “fighting sex trafficking,” though mostly as a way to beat up on the Obama administration and the United Nations for not adopting even more punitive policy. The Protect Innocence Initiative, a partnership between the anti-prostitution Shared Hope International and the American Center for Law & Justice (the right’s answer to the ACLU), gave a presentation at the Values Voters Summit in Washington last September touting the 40 bills it has persuaded state legislators to introduce since December 2011. The title: “Can You Protect Your Children From the Commercial Sex Industry?” Shared Hope International’s director, former Rep. Linda Smith (R-Wash.), explained to the Values Voters audience that they should “put this issue in its proper position” alongside the anti-abortion cause.
Hahaha, radical feminists have aligned themselves with conservatives.
I’ve been saying this for years, that radical feminists just act like conservatives, they just slap a nice label in a cute little bow to pretend they’re the White Saviours instead of, well, those in support of patriarchy.
Hughes banged her own curious “women’s rights” drum in support of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan in a 2004 Washington Post op-ed, co-written with second-wave feminist Phyllis Chesler, in which the duo criticized feminists for not seeing that conservatives “could be better allies on some issues than the liberal left has been.”
Now they’re outright saying it.
But demanding cops protect women by “going after the johns” doesn’t exempt sex workers from arrest. A 2012 examination of prostitution-related felonies in Chicago conducted by the Chicago Reporter revealed that of 1,266 convictions during the past four years, 97 percent of the charges were made against sex workers, with a 68 percent increase between 2008 and 2011. This is during the same years that CAASE lobbied for the Illinois Safe Children Act, meant to end the arrest of who the bill describes as “prostituted persons” and to instead target “traffickers” and buyers through wiretaps and stings. Since the Act’s passage in 2010, only three buyers have been charged with a felony. These feminist-supported, headline-grabbing stunts subject young women to the humiliation of jail, legal procedures, and tracking through various law enforcement databases, sometimes for the rest of their lives.
“It’s fascinating that women who claim to be feminists” are so willing to use the law in this way, says Ann Jordan. Supporting anti-prostitution enforcement requires them to call in the muscle of “all these institutions that have oppressed women forever,” she notes. “But they are willing to use the law to coerce a particular kind of behavior from women.”
But wait!? Wasn’t heddy just saying that this wasn’t the case? That sex workers aren’t punished?
I guess the facts aren’t in your favour here.
But this isn’t about punishing sex workers. It’s about sending them to jail to be beaten and abused and raped, and deprived of their ability to support themselves.
When somebody like [New York Times columnist] Nicholas Kristof writes an article about shutting down Backpage or applauding law enforcement efforts, it creates this picture that the answer is criminalization and punishment, and then people think we need to arrest more people, and that’s incredibly detrimental. And unfortunately, when there is more money and a mandate for arrests, that will often result in sex workers who may or may not have been forced into sex work being arrested.”
Sex-worker activists have long voiced this concern, not to protect the sex industry (as anti-prostitution campaigners claim) but to protect themselves from the violence of arrest and the violence that results from widespread social stigma and discrimination. Defenders of sex workers’ rights want to stop those arrests, while the feminists who should be their natural allies are pushing for more.
But this isn’t about punishing sex workers. Or sending them to jail.
Except it is. It literally is. So I guess hedonisticshitweasel is wrong here. And deliberately lying about it’s agenda.
This next one is so fucking gross, that I can’t even make any comments. Feminists dehumanize murdered women to further their anti-sex worker agenda. It was established earlier in the article that feminists have allied themselves with NOW-NYC - the conservative women’s group.
‘Sack of Bones on Gilgo Beach’
Between 2010 and 2011, the remains of 10 people, many identified as sex workers, were found on Long Island’s Gilgo Beach. New York sex workers, including SWOP members, responded by reaching out to the families of the victims, attending vigils, and providing support to one another. Networks such as these are strong among sex workers, who cannot rely on cops, courts, or other institutions most people can turn to in times of crisis.
NOW-NYC’s response to these murders, still unsolved, came in a letter from its president, Sonia Ossorio, to the New York Daily News. Against the backdrop of NOW’s campaign to increase stings and raids in the sex trade, Ossorio complained that the paper was out of bounds for running a column questioning the public good in keeping prostitution illegal. She closed her letter by invoking the murdered women who “ended up as sacks of bones on Gilgo Beach.” For Ossorio, these women’s deaths are a justification for prohibition rather than a wake-up call to the dangers that prohibition creates.
It is not sex work that exposes sex workers to violence; it is our willingness to abandon sex workers to violence in an attempt to control their behavior. Prohibition makes prostitution more dangerous than it would otherwise be by pushing it underground and stripping sex workers of legal protection. The fight over that policy is about more than just strains between generations of feminism. It is about an unholy marriage of feminism with the conservatism and police power that many feminists claim to stand against.
Advocates for sex workers are making some headway in calling that alliance to account. In 2011, for the first time, sex-worker activists participated in the U.N. Universal Periodic Review of Human Rights (UPR), a review of all member states’ human rights records conducted each four years. It was also the first year that the U.S. government’s record on human rights was up for U.N. review.
Activist Darby Hickey, a transgender woman who has been involved in the sex trade and is currently an analyst at the Best Practices Policy Project, which defends sex worker rights, participated in the U.N. evaluation. Its findings reinforced what sex workers have been reporting for decades: American sex workers are vulnerable to discrimination and violence not simply because of their work but because of the ways institutions exclude and harm them. The United States signed on to UPR recommendations that “no one should face violence or discrimination in access to public services based on sexual orientation or their status as a person in prostitution.”
“Now we’ll see what they do with that,” Hickey says, “and what steps they take to address violence from law enforcement and systemic violence.” When it comes to criminalization and the prison system, Hickey says, “there’s a general recognition that we’re going in the wrong direction, but around prostitution it’s going in the opposite direction, where people are saying, ‘Arrest more people; increase penalties.’ ” Just as the war on drugs is in many ways a war on black people, Hickey says, the war on prostitution is a war on sex workers.
If we are going to call attacks on reproductive and sexual rights a “war on women,” then let’s talk about a war on women that has actual prisoners and a body count. It’s a war on the women engaged in sex work, waged by women who will not hesitate to use their opponents’ corpses as political props but refuse to listen to them while they are still alive and still here to fight.
But it’s not about punishing sex workers.
Except that it, really really blatantly is.
And you’re a bunch of… fucking assholes to even try to lie about what you’re really aiming for.
I thought you said I hadn’t researched my opinion? Otherwise I wouldn’t have asked my original question. Tumblr feminists…
remember that thing where radical feminists feel 100% ok with calling people ‘retarded’ and nobody in the radical feminist community did anything about it