Soderbergh, in Magic Mike, takes it for granted that the desire to be the object of a man’s reckless, aggressive lust is neither fetish nor pathology. The strippers’ dance routines are nearly all spectacles of male strength and power […] Just as the strip club precludes the possibility of actual fucking, the film hints at sex without showing it. Magic Mike may be the first example of pop art that plays with female fantasies of submission in a setting that is free of physical and emotional complication.
I was left feeling that those who had warned me against organizing in strip clubs were right: Most strippers are willing to tolerate labor violations in exchange for the relative freedom to pursue quick cash in an unregulated environment.
We don’t need to polarize people’s experiences in the sex trade. We need a better understanding of those experiences in all of their complexities. I feel like I get sucked into this debate where I have to argue that lots of different parts of the sex trade exist, over and over again. What is the investment that these well-intentioned people have in erasing a significant chunk of the people they claim to represent? It’s not like there aren’t voices out there that really disagree with this message. There are many but they are usually marginalized.
—Hadil Habiba on ad campaigns against the sex trade.
“[Abolitionists] speak so fiercely about fighting for women’s right to self-determination but clearly that does not include us. Perhaps by women, they only meant themselves (…) They speak in jargons we do not understand. We guess it was their way of telling us they know better and so we should just leave it to them to run our lives. But we really do not care about “patriarchy”, “commodification” and other words they spew. Those matters don’t bring food on our table nor pay for our rent. All we are interested in is work undisturbed.”
—The Philippine Sex Workers’ Collective inaugurates its new blog with an entry on triumphing over abolitionist feminists
Smith didn’t just consider it irrelevant to ask these women what the law has meant (and hasn’t meant) to them. She also refused to engage with the many sex workers who tweeted her to point out this omission […] She allowed police officers – people who see it as their mission to drive sex workers out of business, people who have a long history of using sex workers for their own ends in all sorts of nefarious ways (yes, even in post-criminalization Sweden) – to define their experiences for them. I have a few words for that type of reporting. ‘Feminist’ isn’t one of them.
Wendy Lyon responds to the silencing of sex worker voices in The Independent columnist Joan Smith’s whorephobic discussion of criminalization in Sweden this week. Another excellent response from Jem of It’s Just A Hobby here.
Condemning oppressive clients only when they are bad customers of paid sex is missing the point—or do you think that they don’t treat other workers the same way when they can get away with it? Wouldn’t an abusive, bullying porn director be an abusive, bullying grocery store manager? I’ve been talked down to and pushed to the point of injury on a porn set and while working food service. Why do you care if I was hurt in the hands or in the vagina? My pain was pain either way.
-thewhorepoet demonstrates yet again how much brilliance can be found on the sex worker tumblrsphere by emphasizing that it’s about labor rights, dummy.