(going off anons sex work q&a)
but doesn’t the sex industry perpetuate the culture of women’s bodies as a commodity? in other words why is the market for women’s sex work so much larger than the market for men’s sex work in first place? if i as a man were down on my luck i don’t think society would suggest sex work, but for women it often does. i understand the empowering side of it i just think its ripple effect ultimately damages the cause. sorry if i am being particular (or if you’ve shared thoughts on this before) i am interested in this topic because it’s one that is polarizing amongst feminist
I don’t find sex work either belittling or empowering. Nor is it necessarily only for women. It is simply a service that involves payment for sex. As long as there’s a market for sex work, I believe it should be legal and regulated. The fact that sex workers are primarily women isn’t a problem with sex work per se but the structure of society, which is a much more complicated issue to tackle. Roy Baumeister’s theory of sexual economics posits that women can get sex for free much easier than men can, so there is virtually no market among straight women for male prostitutes. I highly suggest looking into his theory if you haven’t already!
So no, I do not believe sex work is anti-feminist. Society is. And I think removing the shame and stigma attached to sex work will do more for women than perpetuating it by keeping sex work underground.
Capitalism wants you to feel ugly
One of my girl friends asked me the other day, “Is it just me or do you feel ugly whenever you watch commercials for beauty products?”
And I told her, “You should feel ugly. If you don’t feel ugly, the advertiser hasn’t done his or her job.”
Remember, capitalism relies on WANT (aka demand). If you don’t already want a product, the advertiser’s job is to convince you that you do. Just like those silly infomercials that try to convince you that without a state of the art spice rack, you’re a useless, bumbling mess, beauty companies have to convince you that you have a problem in need of fixing too.
Aesthetic beauty is a social construct that changes with time and culture. In a capitalist system, corporations have a strong incentive to create a beauty standard that can never be reached to generate unlimited demand. In order to stay afloat, beauty companies must teach you no matter what, your natural appearance is ugly. You can not be complacent with how you look; you must spend money to fix your natural appearance.
Wrinkles? Ugly. Body hair? Ugly. Body fat? Ugly. Born with fair skin? You ought to make it darker! Born with dark skin? You ought to make it lighter!
Why the strong push on marketing these images to women? Because we’ve already been raised and conditioned to place our self-worth in our appearance. Society already built an incentive system, so the job is half done!
There’s nothing wrong with caring about the way you look. Just remember, next time you feel ugly watching a commercial for foundation, that there is nothing wrong with you. You don’t have low self-esteem. You’re just stuck in a system that profits off you feeling like you do.
this is everything that is wrong with the world
The right to my body is not a joke
When it comes to “rape jokes”, I am not concerned about people who make jokes about rape to cope with tragedy or to point out the absurdity of rape culture. I am concerned about people who casually make jokes that imply rape without using the word. Casual sexism is the foundation of rape culture.
Statuses on Facebook like
“Woman logic: I want you to desire me at all times but only act on it when I’m in the mood.”
“A bottle of vodka is cheaper than dinner for two.”
that get dozens of likes. When the response isn’t “Wow that’s fucked up!” but “Good point!” Because the word “rape” is never mentioned. It’s just the logical next step. The butt of the joke is a woman’s bodily autonomy.
How absurd is it that women tell men when and when not to use their bodies? Women just don’t get it; their bodies are for men to use! If we desire it, who are they to tell us not to act on our desires? How illogical!
All social interaction is really just payment for sex, but why interact with a stupid woman when I can just get her drunk and use her body? Bro five!
A bunch of guys get a laugh at the absurdity of a woman’s right to her body, and no one brings up the subject of rape because no one sees the inextricable connection between bodily autonomy and rape. Rape is some other thing, some thing that bad people do in dark alleys, but not us normal people. We’re just getting what we’re entitled to. As it should be.
Intellectual vs. personal discussion
I made a post a while back critiquing another post that suggested that white folk ought to stay quiet when discussing race with a person of color. However, I think there’s an important distinction to make.
In intellectual conversation and philosophical debate, your race (or gender/religion/etc) should not matter. If we’re discussing if a certain law or book or TV show or politician is racist/sexist, by all means, keep the dialogue flowing. I want to hear what you have to say. I don’t care how racist or sexist your arguments are, and I don’t care if you’ve never experienced a drop of racism or sexism in your life. All I care about is your argument, and that is what I’ll respond to.
However, when I’m talking about my personal experience, that is not up for debate. Saying “This TV show offends me because I don’t like the way it portrays women” is no different from saying “I don’t like this drink because it tastes too sweet” or something along those lines. You can’t convince me that my drink isn’t too sweet. To tell me “No, it’s not sexist. I think that’s kind of a stretch/you’re overanalyzing it/stop taking things so personally” is just like saying “No, that drink actually tastes fine. You just aren’t drinking it right.” It’s absurd. How I feel about something is not up for debate. You can say “I don’t feel the same way”, but your experience doesn’t invalidate mine.
What is “inner beauty”?
Why is the go-to compliment for women “beautiful”, a word primarily used to describe aesthetics? If “beautiful” describes non-physical traits, do we speak of “inner beauty” when referring to men as often as when referring to women? Do we put signs on men’s bathrooms telling them they’re beautiful? Has the phrase “All men are beautiful” entered our vernacular? Do we describe physically unattractive men as “beautiful”? Why use the word “beautiful” to describe an ambiguous non-physical trait when so many other words exist?
Thought I’d put together a starter kit of more precise adjectives to help us move away from our tendency to conflate women’s physical and non-physical traits and, as a result, simplify their character through trite and meaningless buzz words.
- Compassionate - altruistic, caring, considerate, forgiving, generous, humanitarian, kind, soft-hearted, sweet, sympathetic, understanding, warm
- Confident - ambitious, bold, brave, cool, courageous, self-assured, self-sufficient, strong, trusting
- Creative - artistic, imaginative, inspired, sensitive, stylish, tasteful
- Happy - captivating, cheerful, delightful, funny, free-spirited, peaceful, perky, spontaneous, upbeat
- Smart - astute, bright, brilliant, clever, competent, genius, quick-witted, resourceful, sharp, talented, wise
- Trustworthy - dependable, faithful, honest, mature, responsible, realistic, upfront
Nice guys finish last. That’s why you broke up with me. You just can’t handle someone being nice to you, and treating you how you deserve to be treated and blah blah blah whatever else their little fuckin’ speech is.
I broke up with you because you haven’t had a job the entire fucking year we’ve been dating. You’re collecting unemployment. It’s like having a baby man child boyfriend, and I can’t afford you. I found out you have a gambling problem. I found out you’re addicted to heroin. It’s hard for me to hang out with you because you’re always at your mom’s house… because you live there. You got my best friend pregnant. You tried to have sex with my dog that one time. You’re not even that fuckin’ nice!
I can promise you that there is a laundry list of reasons why that girl either broke up with you or chose not to date you or doesn’t like you. Being nice is like in another book, it’s not even on the list, it’s not there. There is not a girl on the face of the earth that doesn’t like nice people.
You used the expression “legitimate” rape as if to imply there were such a thing as “illegitimate” rape. Let me try to explain to you what that does to the minds, hearts and souls of the millions of women on this planet who experience rape. It is a form of re-rape. The underlying assumption of your statement is that women and their experiences are not to be trusted. That their understanding of rape must be qualified by some higher, wiser authority. It delegitimizes and undermines and belittles the horror, invasion, desecration they experienced. It makes them feel as alone and powerless as they did at the moment of rape.
Erin Iwamoto-Galusha asked her gynecologist for a tubal litigation, the most common form of surgical female sterilization. She explained her deep-rooted desire not to have children and that her boyfriend, now her husband, supported her choice. She asked a different doctor every year for five years. Each time, the doctor refused. “You’re too young to make a decision like that,” they would say to Iwamoto-Galusha, who was 20 when she first made the request. “I thought the same thing when I was your age.” “My children are the light of my life.” Once, as Iwamoto-Galusha sat with her boyfriend by her side, a doctor actually said, “You just haven’t met the right man yet.” Another told her to come back in three to six months. When she did return, the doctor said that before receiving a referral to a doctor who might perform the surgery, Iwamoto-Galusha would need to write an essay explaining her reasons…
“This is a choice issue,” says Vanessa Collins, M.D., vice president for external medical affairs at Planned Parenthood Federation of America and herself an ob-gyn. “A woman and her doctor certainly need to have a dialogue about the implications of a tubal litigation, but a woman should not have to beg and plead to have one. That women are denied access to tubal litigation is another form of reproductive injustice.
Pamela Paul, “Q: Just how hard can it be to avoid getting pregnant? A: Much harder than you’d think.”
Also, the reference I was making to Tangled wasn’t about the storyline. I actually think Disney made great strides with this film by having such a strong female lead, and I really love it. I’m talking about the theme of trying to be beautiful vs. naturally being beautiful. It’s a given that lead female characters are beautiful without trying. But the active pursuit of beauty is still a common theme for villains. The main villain in Tangled was Rapunzel’s mother who was motivated by the pursuit of beauty. Likewise, the main villain in Snow White was the Queen who was also motivated by the pursuit of beauty. Of all the things a villain could be motivated by and of all the lessons a film could teach, why make trying to be beautiful such an ultimate evil?
Sorry I should’ve elaborated more when throwing in examples. I tried to keep it concise, but I was just being confusing.