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Nov 14 2006

First Amendment 2.0: The Enjizzened Version

lapdance.jpg

Let us now return to the tiresome world of the lap dance.* I know, I know. I’m sorry, but it has to be done, because last Election Day in the enlightened city of Seattle, a referendum** prohibiting, among other things, bodily contact between johns and strippers was seen swirling down the Crapper of Women’s Dignity, waving a bleak farewell with its feeble, shackled hand, while the town’s “open-minded” Tony Sopranos and their “liberal” butt-boys threw a big we’re-in-the-money penis party.

Seattle’s mayor and city council thought Referendum 1 was a good idea; their guiding principle emerged from the sound reasoning that strip clubs, which are directly related to elevated crime rates, might buzz off if skulking pornsick “gentlemen” could no longer use them as repositories for their personal moistness.***

Stupid, naïve city government.

The portion of the Referendum 1 to which the good townsfolk most strenuously objected was a restriction called the “4-Foot Rule”. This regulation would have kept strippers from coming within groping distance of their clients (although the knuckledraggers, with their longer arms, might still have had a shot), thus putting the kibosh on, as one journalist so wistfully put it, “strippers overflowing from their lingerie … [leading] men by the hand to dark booths for a dance.” But in Seattle, the city famous for duping otherwise right-thinking Americans into accepting burnt coffee as a taste treat and flannel as a fashion statement, the lap dance is apparently central to the voters’ sense of what it means to be a Seattlian (Seattlite?). According to the referendum’s vociferous opponents, the lap dance is no mere gentlemen’s entertainment. No. The lap dance is the physical expression of Jeffersonian political idealism. It is what our boys are fighting for. It is woven into the very fabric of Old Glory.

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports that the aforementioned vociferous opponents were in fact a contingent of Seattle strip club owners/organized crime enthusiasts — i.e. men who sell women for a living — who spent almost a million smackeroos**** on their campaign. Their tireless efforts successfully persuaded voters (not that the average enflanneled yay-hoo needs much persuasion to view strip clubs as elemental to American dudeship) that a male groin without 24-hour access to abused, degraded, naked women constitutes a travesty so egregious that it must be construed as nothing less than an infringement on the right to free speech.

I’m not joking! Free speech! Ha-ho! That’s a hot one. In Seattle you can do whatever you want as long as you do it to a woman in a strip club and you call it “speech”.

The suggestion that there be maintained a distance of four feet between the fully-clothed bonerized pervs and the naked women they enjoy degrading caused an uproar so frenzied that nobody in Seattle had the slightest idea that there was anything else on the ballot. God forbid, yawped the gangster-strip-club-owning pillars of Seattle society, that city government should naggingly “nanny” the citizenry by casting the legislative stink-eye on the sexyfun of feeling up a teen crack addict in some dank, caliginous hell-hole. Strip clubs are awesome!

The awesomeness of strip clubs is a topic irresistible to the sort of male blogger who uses the word “awesome.” Thus there ensued some lame hipster bloviating by Dan Savage fanboy James at Seattlest (what Seattle blamer Susan calls “a kind of faux-brash, free-thinking, culture-loving local blog” that has been “braying off and on for months about the scarcity of good strip clubs in our city”). Quoth James, using the Royal We that we find so tiresome in our corporate proto-journalisto bloggers, “We’re voting no on Ref. 1 because we want the occasional lap dance. They’re sexy! They’re fun! If our wife is GGG, what’s it to [pro-referendum journalist Susan] Paynter, the cops, the local bluenoses, or [Seattle mayor] Greg Nickels?”

Not surprisingly, James appears not to have considered that strippers are sentient beings. But then a stripper wrote in to Seattlest to complain about James’ dudely entitled idea of sexyfun, and James posted it.

“Strippers,” she wrote, “really hate the rise in lapdances and private room experiences that johns like you are increasingly demanding from us to have your ‘fun’. If imposing a four-foot rule keeps me from having one more asshole lick me, bite me, jam his fingers into me, rip my costume or otherwise act like an entitled fuckface, then four-foot rule it is. Asking you little boys nicely to stop hasn’t been working, and the last time I complained the manager laughed in my face and said, ‘You don’t have to work here, lots of girls will be happy to take a finger up the ass for what you’re getting paid.’”

James lost no time in conducting an email interview with his anonymous penpal in which she failed, alas, to effuse sufficient enthusiasm for her work. The resulting comments are unanimously venomous and fall into two categories:

• Shut-The-Fuck-Up-You-Stupid-Whore: “You make 100 to 300 bucks an hour? I think you should shut the fuck up and ride the dick like a good girl, or quit the business and go legit making far less. Either way, shut the fuck up” (a sub-category is Who-Cares-If-You-Were-Abused-As-A-Child-Shut-The-Fuck-Up).

• She-Is-Obviously-Not-A-Real-Stripper-Because-Real-Strippers-Love-Being-Groped: “So, the consensus on Fark (fark.com) is that this interview has never taken place, the interviewee (lol) is not a stripper but a man-hating feminist.”

In other words, men are entitled to abuse and degrade women as long as they pay them, and any sex worker who says different is a stinking feminist impostor.

What does all of this have to do with the myth of sexual repression I promised to expound on yesterday? Nothing. It turns out I already covered that one.
___________________________________________

* “Lap dance” are words I type with jaundiced fingers, which I do whenever benign euphemism is popularly substituted for accurate description, which transpires whenever a grim truth interferes with romantic fantasy.

** Say, what’s the difference between a referendum, a measure, and an initiative, anyway? Where does it fit in with amendments and propositions? And why do they call that flying saucer tourist trap thing a “needle”?

*** Naturally, from what I can tell, city government was more concerned with sticking it to the strip club mafia than with the humanitarian implications of women working these shit jobs under these shit conditions.

**** Smackeroos: the 20th century working class term for “dollars,” according to gun moll-with-a-heart-o-gold Barbara Stanwyck in Howard Hawks’ 1941 Ball of Fire, a film also featuring famed pothead drummer Gene Krupa playing a tiny box of matches. That’s right, lately I do nothing but watch Turner Classic Movies, with the result that my formerly articulate craw is now choked with black-and-white Hollywood colloquialisms such as “Say, what’s the big idea, Mac?”

158 comments

6 pings

  1. antelope

    Quick warning to all – Twisty has summed this up really well. If you go to Seattlest &/or Fark to see for yourself, you will get very, very depressed.

  2. norbizness

    The correspondent is correct, she doesn’t know where that finger’s been.

    And I can’t believe Seattle attempted to pass this measure by referendum [popular vote] rather than simple initiative from the city council… if the Austin smoking-ban-in-pool-halls-for-Christ’s-sake was any clue, democracy simply doesn’t work.

    Also remarkable is that Houston, TX, home of the unzoned strip club in between a junkyard and an elementary school, enacted its own 4-foot rule close to a decade ago. And trust me, there are still shitloads of strip clubs; they even outnumber megachurches.

  3. MissPrism

    Urbandictionary was depressing enough, never mind the Seattlest bile-fest, but at least I now know what ‘caliginous’ means. Thanks, Twisty.

  4. Hattie

    I live in a place without strip clubs, but both my lovely daughters and my lovely granddaughter live in Seattle, amongst the slime who would tolerate, or even patronize (nice word, that) these clubs.
    Women should picket these places, the way wingers picket abortion clinics, harassing the “customers” as they go in. If that fails, protesters may have to resurrect Carrie Nation and get busy smashing things. Carrie Nation thought bars were bad. This is so much worse, and I can’t believe anyone tolerates such businesses.
    I didn’t care all that much until I real Mimi’s blog, about the dreadful pathetic life she leads (or I hope, led) as a stripper. She opened my eyes to the degradation that passes for empowerment.

  5. antelope

    I think picketing would just make them more popular. Nothing like the chance to degrade women AND show your courageous opposition to “prudes” at the same time.

  6. Atzbanite

    Seattle is a strange, strange city. We lived there for 12 years too many and never looked back when we left. It’s a city with a light outer face and a dark underside that remains well hidden so that mega businesses can still attract their people. Yes it does rain as much as everyone thinks, maybe that’s why these poor deprived shit-headed examples of patriarchydumn think they have the right to titilation on their terms; hey, they have a giant ringed dick as a tourist attraction, a music museum that looks like mammal innards and all the coffee any small country could consume.

    The fuzzy new-age light and faeries that portray an enlightened city also nicely veil the fact that it is one of the most socially isolating places in the US. Most people can easily count on one hand the times they’ve spoken to a neighbor with more than a passing and slightly suspicious, “Hi”. People in our middle-class neighborhood consistently had their mail and identities stolen, but the cops didn’t pay attention until an unnamed multi-gazillionaire’s neighborhood was targeted. (Bet the crooks thought they had hit the jackpot there…) I personally found NY City a friendlier place. Meth labs lurk in the nicely painted house next door and anytime you want to see someone shooting up just go to the famouse downtown market.

    Anyhoo, the point being, I can see this sort of thing happening not infrequently.

  7. cycles

    I wonder, however, if a congregation of wriggling thong-wearing men stationed outside the entrance of strip clubs, yelling “Hey daddy!” and “Nice ass!” at the clients, would turn anybody away.

  8. thebewilderness

    Seattlite is correct. The reason we have to do practically everything by referendum in Washington is that, for example, the asshats on the Seattle city council are the owners and frequenters and tax profiters of strip clubs. This is a state where the people had to sue the state in the 70s to get them to pay for basic education as required by the constitution of the state, fer cryin’ out loud. Where they persuaded the people to go along with a lottery by telling them the money would go to education and then spent it on sports stadiums. Where they spend more money on public relations patronage than they do on the public projects. And if you don’t know what WPPS is, it’s an acronym for all the money you want for a project we don’t need, don’t want, and is built so poorly that if it does work it will probably render the are uninhabitable.
    That extreme lefty, righty division the punditry loves to carry on about is a living breathing reality here in WA.
    I blame Boeing and Microsoft, but mostly I blame the patriarchy.

  9. thebewilderness

    That would be render the area, rather than the are. Sorry.

  10. Hattie

    a music museum that looks like mammal innards
    Yes. I hate that place. Actually, when the sun shines (ie not that often) it looks like a bunch of gift wrapping paper thrown on the ground. But mostly, as you say, it reminds me of those plastic models of innards that you see in anatomy class.
    I wouldn’t have a thing to do with Seattle or anywhere else in the “great Northwest” if I didn’t have kids living there. The vice scene is especially nasty and covert in Seattle as well as in Portland, and probably in Vancouver too.
    Actually, for those who must live in Seattle, Ballard is pretty cool.

  11. simplywondered

    life love and the pursuit of lapdances! don’t mess with the constitution.
    also wish i had read the comments and antelope’s warning before clicking…teach these people english – you can do it to chimps so let’s try with them too.

  12. Kugelmass

    Well, since Twisty’s called me (and 10,000 other people) out as the kind of male blogger who uses the word awesome, here are my thoughts on the stripper-as-empowerment myth, and the complementary male myth of the cowboy.

    My response to the commenters on those posts is here.

  13. joolya

    I’m ill reading the balls-out misogyny of that comments thread. Wrote two comments if anyone is interested. Now time to go pour Lysol in my ears to try and cleanse my brain.

  14. Twisty

    Great Scott, Kugelmass! You use the phrase “solipsism embedded in the archetype” in describing a Britney Spears video, which goes beyond awesome.

  15. smmo

    I’m delighted that Twisty turned her laser wit to our fair city and its disgusting support of lap dances, but is it blame the patriarchy or blame Seattle? The patriarchy thrives here, as it does everywhere else. Yes, the particular brand of “sex positive” nonsense is irritating and damaging. But is New York’s insane competetiveness about shoes and strollers and purses any better? How about Southern California, where porn (the Valley kind and the Hollywood kind) is made and fake boobs endemic? You want to see some ugly, hidden sexual exploitation try San Francisco.

    That building is really horrible but I like the weather. Too much sun addles the brain.

  16. Twisty

    The successful patriarchy-blamer must be thick-skinned when it comes to hometown pride. I manage to love Texas despite its loudmouthed gun-totin’ vulgarity, but I take a lot of heat from people who think there’s nothin’ but W-lovin’ Klansmen down here.

  17. smmo

    “The successful patriarchy-blamer must be thick-skinned when it comes to hometown pride.”

    Right you are Mme. Plus Vite. It’s hard out here for a blamer.

  18. stacy

    the space needle was oh so outer-spacey in 1962! remember the jetsons? yup – that’s us!

  19. redneckmother

    I wonder, however, if a congregation of wriggling thong-wearing men stationed outside the entrance of strip clubs, yelling “Hey daddy!” and “Nice ass!” at the clients, would turn anybody away.

    I’m picturing an army led by Party Boy from Jackass. Is it wrong to say I’d pay to watch that?

  20. I Heart Twisty

    My goodness, such negative comments about Seattle here! I’m a little surprised, frankly. I live here, as you probably guessed. I am a feminist, I don’t like strips clubs, and guess what? I voted against this referendum! Yes, shocking, but true. Here are my thoughts on it, whether or not they make any sense to you, take ‘em or leave ‘em:

    - The City of Seattle proper, and this was a referendum for just the City of Seattle, has, like, five strip clubs maybe. They’ve pretty much been practically outlawed in this city. City Council has made it practically impossible to open one, which is fine by me. The majority of the strip clubs in the Seattle area are just outside the city limits and therefore would not have been affected in the least by this referendum. I’m just sayin’.

    - Seattle is notorious for trying to pass initiatives and referendums based on gross misinformation. The information in this case that they tried to use to justify passing this referendum was that strip clubs are directly connected to a higher rate of crime (narcotics, prostitution, breaches of peace) in the surrounding neighborhood. They lied about that statistic. The police did not find this to be the case at all and yes, I actually believe them. What I am sick of is this city lying to me to get its way on initiative and referendums. I think many Seattle citizens are by this point. If you lived here, you would understand what I mean, but if you don’t, this may be meaningless to you. It was sort of the straw that broke the camel’s back for me, unfortunately.

    - Actually, this initiative wasn’t *that* much of a hot topic on the ballot. We were waaaay more concerned with getting Darcy Burner elected, making sure Maria Cantwell stayed our Senator, trying to figure out if we wanted to keep our basketball team in town, and trying to mow down Initiative 933 in order to protect our land-use laws from going to shit environmentally. This strip club thingy really didn’t make all that much of a splash in the face of trying to whip the Republicans asses and keep on track environmentally.

    - The good news: Seattle also has a magical way of passing initiatives and referendums even if they are voted down completely (see: Seattle Seahawks stadium and accompanying citizen taxes). See, Seattle, once it gets its claws into an idea, will not let go. I have every faith that this will eventually get passed too. It’s just Seattle’s way!

  21. I Heart Twisty

    And oops, I forgot to sign my name to that last one! I’m Shannon. My blog is at westeringhills.weblogged.net. Sorry!

  22. Jillanne

    Oh, how I love you Twisty, especially for sentences like the last one in the first paragraph. And for fabulous images like the one for this post. You somehow made a lap actually dance! I think it’s doing the can-can. The fact that you’re in the world, blaming away with such finesse and deadly aim, gives me hope, and also a good dose of much-needed glee.

  23. Edith

    Sheesh, you know, Twisty attacks Seattle and all the Seattle kids start whining in defense. Get real, folks! I hail from the Valley (like, THE Valley) of Los Angeles and NOW live in San Francisco, so dudettes and dudes, get over yourselves. Way more fun to blame the patriarchy residing in those OTHER places then dare turn it on your own fair haven, right?

    (Maybe I’m just tired of hearing my hometown brought up in some poor would-be deflection of YOUR hometown’s ills.)

    Also, since being defensive seems to be the cool thing to do right now, I’m going to have to defend the term “awesome.” It’s, like, awesome. Just ’cause everyone in the world uses Valley slang in this wannabe-Valley-ness doesn’t mean it’s fair to censor those of us who happen to speak “Valley” as our actual first language. If YOUR town controlled the media, then maybe everyone in the world would use YOUR slang.

    But back on topic — awesome post, Twisty. Ha ha ha, see, I swear that wasn’t even intentional.

  24. TP

    I just can’t believe how easy it is for so many people to just blow off the whole issue of how degrading a lap dance is for both parties.

    I’m so sick of a world that profits from exploiting women. At the same time women are exploited, men have their sexual impulses exploited, too. And then they cover their shame by insisting that they like it.

    It’s the ultimate sexual repression: turning sex into a loveless, mechanical, brutish and mercantile exploitation of everyone concerned.

    I would love a world where exploiting sexual desire was illegal. I make no bones about it. If anyone misses it they can think it up for themselves.

  25. thelmyc

    At the same time women are exploited, men have their sexual impulses exploited, too. And then they cover their shame by insisting that they like it.

    They do like it. Men, I am becoming more and more convinced with every passing year, do not have sexual impulses. They have degradation impulses, and they simply use their dicks to act them out.

  26. Susan

    I think it was seeing all the posters that said: “Protect your rights! No on Referendum 1!” that did me in. Protect your RIGHTS? I just wasn’t aware of any right to 24-hour groping access.

    And the thing that got me about the Seattlest interview and thread was how evasive James and the rest of the dudes were on the question of exactly WHY they deserve this type of access at all times, and how defensive they became when the illusion of the happy stripper was threatened. How much do you want to bet that they think they “love women”?

  27. smmo

    TP: I love your whole post, especially the second to last (penultimate, if you’re feeling fancy) paragraph.

    Edith: Well Twisty didn’t attack Seattle, some commenters did, and for things having no relation to the matter at hand. And I didn’t exactly defend Seattle, I merely pointed out that it isn’t unique in its adherence to patriarchy.

    Defending the Valley? Get down with your bad self!

  28. Catherine Martell

    Classic Twisty – bravo. Though I am now too angry to work.

    thelmyc: “Men, I am becoming more and more convinced with every passing year, do not have sexual impulses. They have degradation impulses, and they simply use their dicks to act them out.”

    Very interesting way of looking at it. That would explain a lot. I bet those little boys who spend their childhoods pulling legs off frogs and frying ants with magnifying glasses are the same little boys who grow up to think they are entitled to ram their filthy fingers up some poor sex worker’s private parts.

    And, re: “So, the consensus on Fark is that this interview has never taken place, the interviewee (lol) is not a stripper but a man-hating feminist.”

    Amazing that anyone would think these categories are mutually exclusive. How delusional these patriarchs can be. Do they actually imagine that strippers *like* them?

  29. Blamerella

    Amazing that anyone would think these categories are mutually exclusive. How delusional these patriarchs can be. Do they actually imagine that strippers *like* them?

    I believe they really do. Hence the unquestioning ease with which James et. al. will accept the premise that most strippers disagree with the proposed ordinance. The myth of the happy hooker will never die in the tiny, deluded minds across dudedom.

  30. Mar Iguana

    The boys don’t give a flying cock whether women like them. Fact is, the more they disgust women, the more points they make in The Brotherhood.

  31. Hawise

    It is all delusion out in the ‘pay-for-play’ world. Phone sex is particularly delusional as it involves a person that you cannot see but who just says what you want to hear. Over the phone line, it is all happy hooker as you never have to see the look on her/his face. Lap dance allows the delusion that you are pulling something off- the illusion that you pay for is inevitably delusional. What is amazing is that these dudes do not realize that the only power they have is that of the pocketbook and that they only have that power as long as it satisfies the club owner.

  32. Mar Iguana

    The boys will continue to have pocketbook power as long as the corporatocracy can continue to attack their main target: Mothers in the workplace, whether single or married, the single greatest threat to the patriarchy.

    http://www.womensenews.org/article.cfm/dyn/aid/2961

  33. Twisty

    I have never been to Seattle in my life, so naturally I am the world’s foremost authority on Seattle politics. I have gathered that the strip club = high crime statistics were only “debunked” by the very group who stood to lose the most if lap dances were banned, i.e. the 3 strip club owners who raised the 800 large to defeat the referendum. Nobody spoke out publicly in defence of the ban. Nobody, that is, except one lone dude, who insisted that he risked violent retribution by doing so, and was portrayed as a sort of nutjob by the opposition. Maybe it’s true, maybe it isn’t, but it certainly wouldn’t be the first case in the history of the world where organized crime proactively defended its nefarious interests with threats of violence.

    But in the end I don’t suppose there was a gun held to every Seattle voter’s head; obviously they are all just fine with the idea that women are the sex class. Which is the truly wack thing about all of this: that they all seemed to accept unquestioningly that commodification of this sex class is biologically determined or constitutionally protected or something.

    So Shannon, even if the police didn’t lie to you, and there is absolutely no evidence of strip club criminality, even if you believe, for some reason, that women are not being violated or even raped in these joints, is there not some small, hoarse voice of common sense that whispers in your ear, telling you that sex work degrades all women and that the commodification of an entire class of people is a global humanitarian crisis?

  34. annared

    Some Farkers 1st amendment examples of free speech

    http://www.uri.edu/artsci/wms/hughes/stripc2.htm

  35. saltyC

    Mar, thanks for ruining my day.

    I was just wondering why the patriarchy was allowing me to live in this bubble of autonomy: I have no need for a man in my life though I’m a mother, because I work and got a break on daycare. I can’t help enjoy the delight of bringing up a child in a man-free environment: no arguments, no compromises, no violent TV shows, no having to tiptoe around male moodiness or argue over money.

    If every woman had an opportunity to live like me, why would anybody want a man around?

    That’s why I worry: this is too good to last.

  36. Keeshond

    Oh, how I love thee, Twisty. Some day I will enumerate all the ways in which your peerless prose has bent me to your will, but for now I will just quietly and humbly thank you for your latest deconstruction of patriarchal privilege. I despise strip clubs, their patrons, and most of all the stupid hyper-rationalizations lap dancees invent to justify their degradation/exploitation of captive women.

  37. stacy

    Dear Gyns,
    Robert Jensen has a disturbing post today on stan goff’s site about men and porn. Worth reading but be careful.
    Last night I skimmed thru Sheila Jeffreys book The Idea of Prostitution for some inspiration and found lots and also was sparked to go back and re-read Millett. Seems nothing much is new under the sun. We buy ya books, and we buy ya books – but do ya read ‘em?

  38. cycles

    A few years ago, on her trainwreck of a reality show, Anna Nicole Smith went on a road trip to Las Vegas. Her posse visited a strip club, and Anna ordered a lap dance as a gift for one of her heterosexual female friends.

    This baffled me. Why would you pay someone to imitate sex with, and attempt to sexually stimulate, a person who had no interest in coupling with her? Wouldn’t that be like giving a toothbrush to a canary? I had to have it exsplained to me: it wasn’t about sexual tittilation. It was about the power trip of paying someone to realistically mimic an act they don’t want to perform with you. Dance for me, bitch.

    And then I realized that of course I was participating in the dance too, and getting a rush from feeling superior to poor stupid drug-addled fat Anna and her dumbass vapid friends.

  39. cycles

    Oh boy, spelling mistakes. That’s my lap-dance power-trip gift to you folks. Feel the superiority! :) (and a smiley AND parentheses AND improper capitalization. You see how I degrade myself for your pleasure?)

    Does Robert Jensen still work out of Austin? He taught one of my classes as an undergrad many years ago. It was one of those 300-people lectures, so we didn’t get to know him well. What’s the general feeling about Jensen these days? I’m just curious, because even though the class was huge and impersonal, it was one of the most carefully organized and thought-provoking classes I remember. I hope he is well.

  40. antelope

    Twice I have seen so-called “role reversal” where a male stripper was dancing at some woman’s birthday party. Mostly what he does is shove his ass practically right in her face. I’m guessing it’s because these guys mostly dance for gay men and don’t feel like changing their style. The woman never looks even remotely like she’s having fun. Why should she? Even if she did get off on the illusion of control, that’s not what he’s giving her by dancing in a way that has nothing to do with typical female sexual desires.

    Mainly what it seemed to be about, both times, is that her friends wanted to humiliate her and take pictures they could use to humiliate her further later on.

  41. jess

    I don’t have anything insightful to add, just a warning comparable to the first one, for my fellow* thin-skinned blamers. I went and read the Jensen article on Goff, and I wish I hadn’t. Ick.

    *: Twisty or anyone, have a non-masculine alternative for the word fellow (adj.)?

  42. CafeSiren

    Annared, I skimmed the post, and that’s appalling. But I’m going to save the link, for the next time that some man asks me to explain why strip clubs are a Bad Thing.

  43. annared

    CafeSiren
    Here is the full article
    http://www.uri.edu/artsci/wms/hughes/stripc1.htm

  44. hedonistic

    You’re not going to believe this but – wait – what the heck, maybe you will: Last New Years’s Eve I found myself on a blind date that ended at a high end strip club. I cannot express how bored those women looked, but I must say the hang-upside-down-from-the-pole-thing was pretty impressive (I’d land on my head if I tried).

    My date bought me a semi-private lap dance and I went along (for research purposes of course). What did the dancer and I talk about while she hovered over my lap? Our kids! She had three kids, all still in diapers (a set of twins, but were they all triplets? I forget). She whispered in my ear how she preferred giving lap dances to women, for reasons one can only imagine.

    Imagine his disappointment when he asked for my assessment of my lap dance. I never saw the man again.

    My assessment of the evening: Even though it was the fanciest club in the city the vibe was empty and flat and depressing. I don’t know how men could even enjoy it – - were they so dense they couldn’t pick up this vibe, or did they not care? A little of both, perhaps. GAH.

  45. Carpenter

    I really hope that if the strippers are geting groped and they cant pass an ordinace to help(though if the club owners are fuck-faced enough not to care about strippers being poked would they even enforce such an ordinance?) tha the strippers unionize and get the ability o strike, sue, and hire some muscle if the club owners won’t. If the thought of geting a chair upside the head in case of bad behavior limpifies the johns johns, to damn bad.

  46. Pretty Lady

    Darlings, do you know what I find degrading? Temping. For seven dollars an hour, in a cheap clown suit purchased from Ross. Particularly when one has to wear nylons, and squarish sort of elephant heels that make one feel about fifty.

    Or what is worse is waiting tables at PoFolks Restaurant, where they are famed for country fried steak and gravy, for $2.01 an hour plus tips, which bumps your wages up to nearly $5 an hour. Without breaks. Not even for the bathroom, let alone a meal, not that you would want to eat any of that horrific food, anyway. On nine hour shifts.

    Quick! Let’s pass a referendum that says that temp workers must be paid equal pay with lap dancers. That would fix it!

  47. Ann Bartow

    This “Quick Informative on Law Related !” outfit is a splog. Apologies for the shadow link. I’m working on ditching them…

  48. mearl

    Twisty, you are nothing short of stunning. This subject makes me incandescent with rage but I have never seen it summed up so beautifully. Free speech, my big red Canadian ass! I loathe the idea that sex work is empowering, and that study listed by annared sounds perty similar to the many other studies on prostitution and stripping I have checked out. And anyone who says that society is immune to the xxx culture that we’re steeped in these days and that kids (and adults, for that matter) aren’t learning from it and getting an education on male-female relations from it, needs to pull his/her head out of his/her ass and smell the extreme backlash.

    The last two “nice, feminist-friendly” guys I dated were addicted to porn at one point or another, and because of this they had some major sexual issues. The first one was young (21) and hated the idea of porn after learning about sex from it in high school; he preferred real women and real sex, intimacy, all that jazz. However, he could hardly get it up in the presence of a real woman (me). When I expressed my interest in having an orgasm, he actually told me that when I voiced my “demands” it didn’t help his performance. Some of those reasons were specific to him, but an article I found by Naomi Wolf alerted me to the possibility that it wasn’t so rare: http://nymag.com/nymetro/news/trends/n_9437/index.html

    The second guy was 33 and divorced, and had spent 5 solid years of his marriage addicted to porn and going to strip clubs since his wife had sex with him only twice during the marriage (after finding out his skill level, I ceased to wonder why). You’d never guess this by looking at or talking to him. Imagine how lucky I felt when I found out that I’d hit the jackpot twice in a row. This guy COULD get it up but couldn’t have an orgasm with a real woman (me) unless some other form of stimulation was involved. I let him watch porn once during sex and of course, he had an orgasm. It was just a test to see if my hunch was right, and then I dumped his ass. I spent 3 months trying to educate him on why porn and strip clubs were warping everyone’s minds, but deep down I doubt that I made a dent.

    Besides the fact that I have been blessed with these fantastic experiences with men, I hate the pornification of everything and how it’s considered “ironic-trendy.” As though this hatred for women is just fun stuff, not real, and when men go back to society after a lovely evening of throwing bottles at strippers and imagining all sorts of degrading scenarios where they treat women like less than human beings and get off on it, they can just switch back to being the loving, caring, equality cheerleaders that they so willingly are.

    I think that some sit-ins at lapdance clubs are in order in the near-future, on a nation-wide basis.

  49. TP

    Oh, my god, mearl, you have hit it on the head. There is such widespread denial about the destructive brainwashing men get from porn, and you have lived it. And I freely admit, I have lived it, too.

    Despite the fact that men will loudly declare over and over again how great it is to degrade women and how women love it too and all the other insane crap you hear, it’s really all just symptoms of porn sickness. Porn sickness is when you are so inured to scenes of degradation and transgressive sex that anything real becomes abstract and ceases to even resemble sex to you any more.

    I have to believe, since I am a man, that men are capable of much more than this. Porn sickness can ruin one relationship after another and then the men, instead of blaming their beloved porn, blame themselves. Men NEED to understand feminist theory because it liberates them from inhuman behavior.

    Feminist theory to me is human being theory. There can be so much less sexual pathology and so much more fulfilling loving sexual relations if the world were a little bit less patriarchal. Women are not sexbots, they are simply human beings who haven’t been seduced by sicker and sicker porn fantasies that seem to always need to become more and more transgressive until you end up in a black hole of total degradation of women.

    I think men are degrading themselves by projection when they degrade women, and a hint of it always emerges when they insist that women like it.

    I think women have a natural resistance to the seduction of porn sickness because – duh! – it’s not aimed at them. Though if all the women who love being tied up and degraded come back and start posting about how great it all is I shall be distressed beyond all measure. I hope to god Twisty has them, whoever they are, under control, because it’s so hard for them to understand how terribly sad and frightened for them I can get.

  50. deSelby

    I’m not sure that a position in favor of a law governing the rules of engagement in titty bars qualifies as true patriarchy-blaming.

    Isn’t such a law just tuning the knobs on a device that runs on pure jism?

    If the idea is to free our society from its pathological approach to sex and gender, it hardly seems worthwhile to buy into the notion of a continuum from “womenly wiles” to outright prostitution, which is what the Seattle referendum does.

    Moving the little ladies farther from the big, nasty men (and their big swinging dollar bills) does what? Protect them?

  51. keshmeshi

    It seems important to mention that Referendum 1 was not put in front of voters by city government. The Seattle city council barely passed the new strip club rules. A petition drive started almost immediately to get a referendum on the ballot. The referendum asked Seattle voters whether they approved of the new regulations or not. (I don’t know why it was phrased that way. I had to reread it a couple of times to figure out whether I should check yes or no.)

    Since the referendum was voted down by a wide margin, many women had to have voted to overturn the new regs. I was one of them, not because I like strip clubs, but because I refuse to tolerate anyone telling women what they are “allowed” to do. I don’t tolerate it from right wingers who attack strippers for being immoral, or from feminists who attack strippers for being tools of the patriarchy.

  52. figleaf

    See, the thing is you get this idea in your head about Seattle and suddenly everything else about it sucks too.

    I dunno. I think strip clubs with or without lap dances are stupid. Every day I drive my kids past two of of the maybe five or six in town on the way to their elementary school.

    For years (like 35 now?) one of them had the Texas-logic motto “Top Class Show Girls” (as if “top class” was ever applied to anything that might actually be “top class.”) The other one, about 15 blocks away, only has male strippers. It’s only been there for maybe 10 years.

    Like I say, I think the whole idea’s pretty stupid since you’d think the men who go to the one, and the women who go to the other, could eliminate the middlemen and just pull their pants down in front of each other.

    But I digress. My main point is that as far as I’ve ever been able to tell there’s no crime associated with either of these clubs, although the bachelorette party stretch limos sometimes double park, making it hard to pull into the semi-upscale family grocery store across the street.

    Lord knows there’s plenty of criminal activity 20 blocks east on the old Highway 99, but it’s hard to blame imposing and/or repealing the 4-ft rule since as far as I know there’s only one strip club and it’s miles north.

    Now I know what you’re sayin’ here, Twisty, that letting guys get “Texas Lap Dances” all inside licensed, alcohol-free establishments where there are bouncers and other customers and well-lit parking lots amounts to legalizing preostitutution and all that, but see, it’s about that Highway 99 thing again, part of town that doesn’t have so many strip clubs at all, the unlighted, unpatrolled, no-bouncers part, where any number of serial murderers went to pick up *real* prostitutes who were then never seen again. In one piece anyway.

    But whatever. We repealed a dumb power-play ordinance that the mayor was going to use to carve out a giant “red light district” in an industrial area south of the stadium district. But if you want to say that makes him virtous then, well, that’s that Texas logic for you again.

    Oh yeah, while you mentioned that just because we voted the thing down our coffee now sucks you forgot to mention that we’ve had record-breaking rain *ever since election night!*

    (Also, just like you’d hate to have everyone think Texas sucked just because one narrow-minded blogger is from there — especially since usually she’s actually pretty cool once you take the time to get to know here, we hate to have people think the same thing about Seattle for the same reasons.)

    figleaf

  53. Catherine Martell

    Oh look, it’s burning hour at the strawfeminist rally.

    Keshmeshi: “I refuse to tolerate anyone telling women what they are “allowed” to do. I don’t tolerate it from right wingers who attack strippers for being immoral, or from feminists who attack strippers for being tools of the patriarchy.”

    Who is attacking strippers for being tools of the patriarchy? No one here (as far as I can see) has attacked other women for being immoral spreaders of sin, or for being dupes of the patriarchy. I don’t see any hatred being handed out to strippers whatsoever – only to johns and to a system that means many women can only earn a respectable wage through lapdancing.

    This myth that feminists are prudes who hate women is the most pernicious load of backlashy crap. You know what the problem is for sex workers? Might it be feminism? No, doofus. It’s the patriarchy.

    Moreover, I really loathe it when people argue along the lines of “I refuse to tolerate anyone telling women what they are allowed to do.” This supposedly inarguable statement – because the reverse of it would be nonsense – is a pathetic attempt to caricature any discomfort with the exploitation of women as an infringement of their rights.

    First, we are all told what to do, all the time, by law and by our unwritten codes of social etiquette. Please don’t try to pretend that this is somehow a problem. It’s called “civilisation”. Liberation from it is not desirable.

    Second, the consensus here is that it is not acceptable that men express their “freedom of speech” by mauling terrified teenage crackheads in strip bars. No feminist here is telling women not to work as strippers, although I’m sure many of us are depressed that some have to. Rather, they are arguing that the *johns* should be told what to do – in this case, that they should stop treating women as commodities to be abused.

    Personally, I am perfectly comfortable with telling men not to abuse women. Are you unable to tolerate this?

  54. RGM

    TP,
    Fantastic comment, you said a lot of things in there that I was thinking as I went through the responses to Twisty’s latest excellent blaming.

    This line: “I have to believe, since I am a man, that men are capable of much more than this.” You said it, bro. There are fewer greater disappointments in my days than seeing men behaving so despicably towards women. And it is a disappointment because we (the collective of “men”) are capable of doing so much better.

    The greatest revolution in the history of the world is the women’s revolution. Sadly, men have failed to realize this and sought to hold it back and relegate women to second-class status, and they use strip clubs, pornography, and other “sex”-based forms of degradation to do it, because there is no more visceral reminder of that difference in status. It’s bullshit and it’s time to tear it down.

  55. Mar Iguana

    “Particularly when one has to wear nylons, and squarish sort of elephant heels that make one feel about fifty.” Pretty Lady

    Oh, you poor, poor, pretty. Truly there can be nothing worse than being made to feel like an old woman. The degradation! What horror to contemplete the inevitability of the fate worse than death. You might want to consider the alternative, dahling.

  56. Jezebella

    figleaf, Seattle’s favorite export coffee has sucked since long before the election. No cause-and-effect there.

    I still can’t get past the idea that they sold this as a “free speech” issue. What next? Rape as free speech?

    The idea that strippers should tolerate the groping, grabbing, mauling because they’re willing to be on display is, alas, nothing new. A woman who will be naked for money is, in the eyes of the patriarchy, no different than a woman who will have sex for money. Artist’s models have, for centuries, been considered interchangeable with prostitutes, and often (like strippers) were expected to give up sexual favors in addition to their clothing. (I’m thinking 19th c. Paris, my field of reference).

    I find it bewildering that any man can claim to see no difference between taking your clothes off for money, with no physical contact, and taking your clothes off and being groped, poked, flat-out physically assaulted all night long. Whatever happened to the “no touch” rules? I guess the dancers who thought they were doing contact-free sex work are now having to rethink that, aren’t they? My stomach still clenches and my legs cross when I remember being aggressively groped, once, in the 7th grade; I can’t imagine how horrible to have that happen dozens of times a night. What’s worse, by entitled motherfuckers you have to be nice to.

    All this reminds me somehow of a t-shirt a friend brought home from a punk-rock shop in London back in the early 80s. It said, “We are all prostitutes,” and at the time, I kind of didn’t get it. Now it’s making sense. Guess I’m a slow learner.

  57. grrr kitty

    To my mind, the truest definition of “shit job” would mean being paid like a file clerk and objectified like a stripper. I’m certain any woman who’s held a job can describe disgusting situations of sexual harrassment. It’s a depressingly common form of economic terrorism.

  58. laurie toby edison

    Just linked to this fabulous post and to the Drudge Report post on the 27th Carnival of Feminists that just went up on our blog Body Impolitic.

    Check it out!

  59. Susan

    Jezebella; “I still can’t get past the idea that they sold this as a “free speech” issue. What next? Rape as free speech?”

    As I understand it, it’s the “dancing” that is the “free speech”. This somehow morphs into the concept that the strip club regulations infringe on everyone’s rights.

  60. al

    “But if you want to say that makes him virtuous then, well, that’s that Texas logic for you again.”

    It may look like Twisty is giving a free pass to the government, but read the asterisked fine print:

    “Naturally, from what I can tell, city government was more concerned with sticking it to the strip club mafia than with the humanitarian implications of women working these shit jobs under these shit conditions.”

  61. Ron Sullivan

    I’m cackling right along with Mar. Damn, I wish I could find a pair of shoes that made me feel fifty again. If I recall correctly, that would be before my joints went all to shit.

    There’s nothing quite so persuasive as being held up as the Personal Example of Horrible Fate, is there? Wait, there’s one thing that might be: personally witnessing the immediate and effective effort of the examplereifier to avoid that horrible fate. I hear that women in Afghanistan are using a method that selflesssly (as proper ladies should always be selfless, of course)contributes to heating the family home. Of course, what they’re trying to avoid isn’t (shudder) living to be 50; it’s being forced to fulfill their womanly destiny as household appliances. Here in America, see, we give women the empower to choose to be public appliances if they want to fulfill their womanly destiny without being prudes.

    Here’s your match; what’s your hurry?

  62. figleaf

    Also, not to put too find a point on it but saying “oh, that’s a *good* strip club” because they have a 4-foot rule but “that’s a bad strip club” because they have lap dancing is just… missing the point?

    I’m clamp-jawed neutral on the issue of strip clubs and all other forms of sex work but it just seems to me like the slippery slope begins a lot closer to “men and women employed to dance around taking their clothes off” than at some later point in the process. Same with the decision either to or not to go into that line of work. (Or, for that matter, to become a customer.)

    figleaf

  63. amananta

    “Do they actually imagine that strippers *like* them?”

    Yes.

    I know a man (whom I can’t tolerate associating with any longer) who once told me in absolute sincerity that the prostitutes he used when he was a young man really liked him because he gave them the very first orgasms of their entire lives, and he knows this because they told him so (and I assume made the appropriate noises). I became utterly speechless in the face of such idiocy and denial, as is unfortunately my usual pattern. I wish I could burst out with Twisty-like eloquence when confronted with such drivel but an inability to speak is instead what I am usually stuck with.

  64. RGM

    Figleaf,
    I’m of the opinion that there is no such thing as neutrality when it comes to strip clubs or any form of prostitution. You’re either for it or you’re against it. If you’re not against it, then you are, at a bare minimum, acquiescing in the continued sexual oppression of women. The position falls under the same banner as “it’s not for me, but if other people want to do it, go for it,” which is tantamount to condoning other people treated women only as sex objects instead of people.

    To say that you’re neutral on a topic in which you have engaged in discussion (which you have, by your presence and posting here) is a bit disingenuous, particularly given that you’ve expressed your view that all strip clubs are stupid. You seem to be leaning in a particular direction but don’t want to leap head-on and join the rallying cries AGAINST strip clubs.

  65. Blamerella

    Porn sickness can ruin one relationship after another and then the men, instead of blaming their beloved porn, blame themselves.

    This statement marred an otherwise good post. The men don’t blame themselves – they blame the women for not being like the ones in porn.

  66. Shannon

    A)I don’t think the suicides of Afghan women are funny ;_;

    B)I don’t know about the neutrality point. On one hand, I don’t really like strip clubs, they seem to encourage bad beauty standards, breast implants, and guys who think they can touch the strippers(just say no!) On the other hand, we can’t really ban them, and in another universe, stripping could be quite a nice profession- just not in this one.

  67. Twisty

    In a universe where dominance is not eroticized, stripping would be a completely neutral act, like mowing the lawn, or picking a poppyseed out of your tooth.

  68. KTal

    Pretty Lady sez: “Darlings, do you know what I find degrading? Temping. For seven dollars an hour, in a cheap clown suit purchased from Ross. Particularly when one has to wear nylons, and squarish sort of elephant heels that make one feel about fifty.”

    Well ain’t that a bitch.

    You know what I find degrading? Women who still consistently banter the tired and old mantra that they have no other alternatives to make a living in this world than stripping, prostitution or porn.

    Fact is, its bullshit, fed and supported by men who enjoy believing this and supporting it when they can get away with it and the women they practice it on and who either won’t or can’t see anything else.

    Frankly, I don’t think women should waitress, work as maids, receptionists, retail cashiers or any other number of low paying work that women willingly get up and smile everyday for. I have this crazy idea about choice, that some choices one has are no good either way, but that the long hard road is better than the easy short road. By idea of choice has to do with good choices and bad choices. Yes, we all have choice, but what happens when we make one choice over another? Aren’t there bad choices and good choices?

    Choice means that those in control of these jobs and wages (most predominantly men) will have the choice to raise their wages to attract the workers they need, or suffer the consequences. I dunno, call me stupid.

    Women have the choice, opened up to them by those damn feminists of twenty or thirty years past, to enter into work where men predominate and enjoy pretty good earnings and work conditions.

    But see, Pretty Laidee, that man-work will probably have you wearing jeans and getting a little gritty, you might suffer some harrassment. But here’s the hitch: you come home everyday after working your protected eight hours, can complain and expect action if harrassed and get retirement, bennies and more than likely, you won’t have to change your name, worry about the cops and if someone gropes you on the job, guess what! They are the deviant who is rooted out, not you!

    How about that?

    Or maybe you can do the trade thing and also go to school. I have a sister that did that, worked in a steel mill and at night put herself through school. She’s a surgeon now. And she’ not young either, but she’s got a damn good paying job, two kids she adopted on her own, with no man in the house, her own house by the way in a good neighborhood, friends, a social life, security and dignity.

    But for one, I realize that the trades mean you might have to give up an inch of what license some people give you for being a woman. Because you know, us women weren’t just born women, we’re made women. By the penetration of the penis, by the swelling of our wombs with child, by the size of our breasts, or our thighs, or the length of our hair. Or the degree of our obedience.

    THen it can be taken away as quickly as given. One slip and suddenly you are a whore, a slut, a tramp, forgotten. Your license and membership card into the Women’s club is gone. They give and they taketh away. Welfare mothers, crack ho’s, strippers, porn stars, lesbians, butch girls, tom girls, girls who like science and books ‘too much’, ugly girls, ‘wall flowers’, you know what I mean right?

    Like that song popular in the fifties sung by Nat King Cole about the Ballerina, “Dance ballerina dance…” Nat snarkily croons as he tells of how this selfish ballerina wanted her career and passed her big opportunity by passing over the man who offered ‘his hand’and now she suffers growing old and being all alone. Yes, women are told all their lives that they must bow to The Man, that there is no other way, they have no power and disobedience will mean a turn in the cold, dark forest alone with no sustenance…

    To cap off: “I refuse to tolerate anyone telling women what they are “allowed” to do. I don’t tolerate it from right wingers who attack strippers for being immoral, or from feminists who attack strippers for being tools of the patriarchy.”

    I can’t shut up and tolerate women wasting their energy assisting men in their efforts to exploit, denigrate and maltreat women and delegitimize feminism. Last I knew, that was being a tool for the patriarchy.

  69. Pony

    Pretty Lady be sure to come on back here and give us your story when you are 50, you know, when those tits hit your lap.

  70. Mar Iguana

    “I have this crazy idea about choice, that some choices one has are no good either way, but that the long hard road is better than the easy short road. By idea of choice has to do with good choices and bad choices. Yes, we all have choice, but what happens when we make one choice over another? Aren’t there bad choices and good choices?” KTal

    Such as the “choice” to have your childhood literally fucked by your father, twisting your formative mind so completly as to have not concept one of what choice, free will, self worth even mean? Maybe some people just don’t deal so well with childhood sexual abuse and/or general mindfuck.

    “Damn, I wish I could find a pair of shoes that made me feel fifty again.” Ron Sullivan

    Yeah, but only if I could know then what I know now.

  71. figleaf

    Hi RGM. Acting on a theory that stripping was inherently oppressive to women would close only one of the two strip joints in my neighborhood. Disregarding the dancing-men/women-customers joint might be acceptable to you but it complicates things for me.

    Either oppression exists in both instances, in which case it’s not specifically oppression of women, or else it doesn’t exist in either case, in which case it’s not specifically oppression of women, or else it’s a complicated stew that doesn’t resolve with the simplicity of George W. Bush-like “either for us or again’ us” sloganeering.

    figleaf

  72. KTal

    “Such as the “choice” to have your childhood literally fucked by your father, twisting your formative mind so completly as to have not concept one of what choice, free will, self worth even mean? Maybe some people just don’t deal so well with childhood sexual abuse and/or general mindfuck.”

    Yes, Mar, I in fact buy into the argument that one’s identity and parameters of reality are formulated in childhood. Mindfuck is what most women are given in differing degrees. I would think that those who have the agency to discern the extent of mindfuck that stripping is, could take on the role of speaking against the oppression and demanding that others similarily equipped do as well?

    That the Seattle ad-bombing went completely unchallenged is the most disappointing aspect of the story.

    Its those with some agency of whom I speak. That’s actually what I wanted to post but Pretty Lady’s distress threw me off track.

  73. I Heart Twisty

    Let me tell you about myself. I am a radical feminist dyke. Big fan of this blog. I am getting a degree in Women’s Studies from UCLA with a concentration in sexuality.

    I am also stripping to pay for my education.

    No, I don’t think it is empowering. I’m not doing it so that I can brag to all of my friends about how edgy and subversive I am. I’m not doing it so that I can write a thesis about how sex work is really just a lot of fun. I’m certainly not doing it to learn how to dance seductively for my potential future husband. I’m not doing it because my dad raped me and I’m horribly psychologically damaged. And I’m absolutely not doing it to support any kind of drug habit.

    I’m doing it because I would rather be degraded and abused for $100 per hour than for seven, or nine, or ten, or however much I used to make in other jobs where a degree is not required.

    I’ve been a waitress, a salesclerk, and a receptionist. To me, those jobs are the most humiliating and exploitative. I am not arguing that every woman would agree. This is just my experience, but I hope you will take it seriously and consider it valid.

    Stripping is almost everything you folks are saying it is. But for me, while I’m in school, it is the most tolerable option. It means I can work just a few hours per week instead of thirty or more, and use the rest of my time being an activist and a scholar and a caretaker for my sick mother (breast cancer) and a partner to my lovely butch girlfriend. You know, things that people who make a decent wage have time to do and take for granted.

    If, my fellow feminists, you really, honestly care about the well-being, safety, and health of sex workers, you might channel your energy and brilliance (which I know you have)into either improving the working conditions of the industry or, if that doesn’t suit your ideology, into coming up with non-objectifying/dangerous ways for young women without education to earn good money. THAT would help us. THAT would mean no more stripping.

    Some of you do this, and I am grateful. Others claim to be sympathetic and then call us “teenage crackheads.” Lovely. That sounds like something the callous misogynists would say.

    In short, I agree with many of your points. I’m very glad there is a vocal opposition to the problems of the sex industry. But sometimes life is more complicated than “ban lapdances” or “shut down strip clubs.” You do that, and suddenly thousands of female students, artists, single moms, queers, etc are left flat broke and homeless. If you are poised to to get rid of this stuff, there has to be a viable alternative (high pay, flexible hours and more)waiting in the wings.

    I know we are all ultimately on the same side, but sometimes I sense an underlying hostility and judgement towards sex workers (and not just the larger patri-industry) on the comments of this blog. As if strippers are doing their jobs in order to personally demean and insult all women, instead of in order to survive. Sometimes I don’t think people on either side really have the right to male pronouncements about this type of work until they have been in the scary position of having to do it. It is about gender primarily, but also about class. Women who will never need to participate in sex work are free to make all sorts of value judgements about it. That is a huge privilige. Your theory, my life.

    -Imogene

  74. Ron Sullivan

    Figleaf: One word: slumming. Or, wordier: Who gets to go home and be the sesx class there too, not to mentionj how much fun it is to wait for the bus at midnight?

    Imogene: Let me know when you see lots of ugly female strippers, hey? And then we’ll talk about options and luck. I was at that bus stop after the PM shift, myself, and I spent it wiping butts. And there are more degrading aspects to wiping butts than wiping butts, and they all have to do with class privilege. Oh yeah — that was after the degree.

  75. I Heart Twisty

    Ron, you are right that even with a college degree, women have a hard time finding high paying jobs where they can maintain their dignity and humanity. I’ll probably be in sex work after I get my Women’s Studies B.A. – I have heard that degrees in the humanities and social sciences don’t exactly pave the way to riches.

    BUT, you don’t have to be conventionally “pretty” to be a stripper. That’s the biggest joke I have ever heard. Fat girls can be strippers. Butch dykes can be strippers. I’ve seen both. The club owners and the customers don’t care that we aren’t all supermodel material. They care that we have cunts and need cash.

    I’m certainly not conventionally attractive – I happen to be short, small-and-naturally-breasted, with a sort of Jewish Lesbian Intellectual type look. Doesn’t bother me, but you sure don’t see girls like that in Playboy.

  76. Mar Iguana

    “…coming up with non-objectifying/dangerous ways for young women without education to earn good money.”

    Hey, no prob, Imogene. Could we have at least a couple weeks, months, years even to come up with the solution to the keystone of patriarchy? What slackers we are to have not ended a system thousands of years old in the long 88 years since we legally gained human status. We better get busy.

    “I’m very glad there is a vocal opposition to the problems of the sex industry. But sometimes life is more complicated than “ban lapdances” or “shut down strip clubs.””

    I am not in opposition to the problems of the sex industry. I am in opposition to the sex industry itself. However, legislating morality can never work. It will take raising the consciousness of men, no small feat when they would rather kill you than allow you to shatter their whack delusions of luv. I’m on it. Which has gotten me where I am today, a low link in the patriarchal food chain.

  77. saltyC

    Imogene, all I want to say is, reconsider. It will hurt you spiritually and emotionally, and the confilicts of interest are huge. Anytime the major justification is money, there’s something wrong. For your own sake, be aware of how it is changing you.

  78. saltyC

    You know what I do have a problem with women getting degrees in women’s studies and stripping. There’s a conflict of interest. Say you become an activist or an advocate, you want to inspire women to stand up for their inegrity and personal space. If you have a woman telling you her husband or boss is treating her in ways that you are being payed to accept for your living wage, how can you be outraged and want better for her when you’re not even giving it to yourself?

    You can say you compartmentalize, etc. But to me feminism needs no compartmentization. Yes other jobs are demeaning and violating, but stripping is so by definition.

  79. Luckynkl

    Radical feminist dyke stripper? Is that sort of like being a Jewish nun? A Muslim pope? Or a communist Republican? Are your parents really, really disappointed that you aren’t learning anything at UCLA?

    May I suggest that you look up the word “radical” before you call yourself one and make a fool of yourself? It doesn’t mean “edgy and subversive.” It means “going to the root of.” A radical feminist is one who goes to the root of women’s oppression.

    “Radical feminism confronts women’s oppression with a revolutionary analysis (as distinguished from reform) that goes to the root causes of male domination, defines men as responsible for and gaining from women’s subordination, and focuses on sisterhood and women’s bonding. The personal politics of radical feminism, which emphasizes sexual and reproductive exploitation of women, focuses on the commonality of women’s condition across class and race as well as cultures and national boundaries.”

    Now, see what’s wrong with this picture when you call yourself a radical feminist? While in the same breath, justifying your stripping because waaaah, it’s too hard to be a waitress, a salesclerk, or a receptionist?

    Tho I do support you as a woman, that doesn’t mean I’ll support whatever tickles your fancy. No, I will not support the sex work industry. Not in any shape, color or form. It does not help women. It keeps them in a subordinated sex class. It enables 27 female infants to smuggled in a suitcase to be sold as sex slaves, along with the millions of girls/women forced into the global sex trade, because boo fucking hoo, it takes too much time and doesn’t pay well to work as a waitress, a salesclerk or a receptionist. Well welcome to the real world. It sucks to be a grown-up and have to take responsibility for oneself, no?

    Being forced into sex work or having little alternative is quite a bit different than choosing to do sex work because one is lazy and allergic to hard work and wants to take the easy way out. Capitalism is not to be confused with radical femininism. Nor is liberalism. Which is the correct label that should be stitched into your g-string.

  80. I Heart Twisty

    I am saddened at these responses. It is really no wonder that a lot of female sex workers feel alienated by feminism. I read an article by a feminist sex worker somewhere that suggested that feminist activists should be walking strippers from the club to their cars to make sure they get home safely, similar to how they accompany women to health clinics. I cried when I read this because I know that as long as so many feminists blatantly refuse to understand our expriences and lives, this will never happen.

    Think of it this way. You are basically saying to me, and other women in my situation, “I don’t care how miserable it makes you or how little it pays or what you have to sacrifice, but you better suck it up and go to that awful minimum wage job, because any type of sex work contradicts with my particular brand of Feminism and that’s final.” Harsh, huh?

    Some women, for one reason or another, find sex work to be the best of a handful of imperfect options. Maybe they are artists and their temperments are not suited for menial, banal tasks one must do at a “normal” job, maybe they are disabled or sick and need to make as much money as possible to pay for their medication and surgery, maybe they have kids to feed and take care and low wage work won’t cover the expenses. Mybe they are immigrants and cannot read or speak English well. I have met strippers in all of these situations.

    It is not the “easy way out.” Obviously someone who would say that has NO idea what stripping actually involves, and has never been in the siutation to have to find out. Lucky you. Try wearing six inch heels all night long with no breaks, worrying whether or not you will get home alive, getting constantly molested and groped, and having to do it all with a big smile on your face. Now imagine for a second that all these things are, for some reason or another, NOT AS BAD as whatever else you could be doing to earn a living. Doesn’t sound to me like women would be in this indsustry because they are lazy and looking for an easy way out. Hmmm, must mean they have a pretty darn good reason for doing it. And it is a shame you can’t comprehend that.

    - Imogene

  81. I Heart Twisty

    And, yes, I am a radical feminist dyke stripper. Sometimes things are more complicated than they appear. Intelligent people can accept complexities and contradictions within identities. Can you?

    I’m just waiting for the day when my fellow feminists will stop shaming, judging, and condemning other women simply because they are doing something that is, for the moment, politically incorrect. Cause when you do that you sound an awful lot like the voices of the patriarchy.

    -Imogene

  82. saltyC

    No, I think I understand pretty well, having been there done that too, been a sex worker, having worked menial jobs, lived in poverty for extended periods, etc. many of us here have, we live in this world too, we’re not all computer-generated pixels.

    We’re not talking about every woman in sex work, I’m not. I’m talking about working as a stripper to pay for a degree in women’s studies, it’s like selling your house so you can afford to paint it.

    Why does what we say make you cry? Do you cry at some of the things the “gentlemen” say? Do you cry when they point at you and laugh with their friends at you and expect you to take it because of all the money they have to buy you? Do you cry when they wave a dollar bill and expect you to come over like a little dog after a hambone? Anyway I think you’re exaggerating, do you really make over $700 every night? I guess it’s possible but most strippers I’ve known take home far less than that on an average night. It’s not worth the damage that may not show for years.

  83. ismnotwasm

    I was talking to a young stripper about the referundum. She was working for it to pass because “for some of the other strippers it’s the only way they make their money” This young women was 21– cute little thing– with a baaad heroin addiction. No clue that her days as a easy money stripper were definetly numbered. Now I know sex workers and have been a stripper. It’s a bullshit industry that eats women alive. One of the myths put forward by the media is the “She only does it ’cause she’s a single mother and needs to support her baby and go to school. Where else can she make money like that?” People like to ignore the degradation, the violence, the drug addictions, the diseases, the psycholgical damage, the root causes of poverty, patriarchy and/or lack of educational opportunities. Can’t afford school? Don’t want to flip burgers? Hey strip!
    Pretending those in the sex industry are healthy, well adjusted sexual beings, making the best choices for thier lives, and enjoy, truly enjoy their profession is just strange. I’ll just say this is not my experience, not what I’ve observed, and not the feedback I get from sex workers I know that aren’t addicted to some substance or being beat silly by pimps or boyfriends.

    Strip clubs are a symptom of patriarchy of course. The four foot rule I figured would go by the wayside. I love Seattle by the way, but the promoted image of the city IS full of shit. It’s a secret cow town that started putting strip malls up in pastures and didn’t bother fixing the freeway system. And it rains like hell.

  84. I Heart Twisty

    As disheartening as some of the abuse I get from patrons is, nothing, NOTHING hurts me more than the social stigma and just – well, the best word I can think of is venom – that I get from other women and feminists.

    Because we all know the guys at the clubs are assholes. But my sisters!? The girls who are supposed to look out for me and advocate for me, but turn out to have nothing but caustic insults, scorn, and contempt? That’s the hardest part of the job.

    Another person with the “easy money” line. Huh. Sometimes this whole debate reminds me of when conservative Christian groups boycott and protest movies and books they have never seen or read. The ignorance would be funny if it wasn’t so tragic. Am I dealing with informed, thoughful feminist intellectuals or the Women’s Christian Temperance Movement? For those of you who have never done sex work, where excatly are you getting your info, women’s magazines and Lifetime specials?

    It never fails to astound me how snide and catty feminists can be to eachother. And how little some of you tolerate perspectives and experiences that don’t fit neatly and perfectly with your theories. That is called being a lazy thinker.

    Did I just totally turn your world upside down because I am a stripper without a drug problem and an abusive boyfriend? Holy shit, call a code red and send in the Feminist Police to see if they can find some other symptom of disfunction and unhealthy sexuality and victimhood so that my story corresponds better with your particular ideological framework!

    - Imogene

  85. Pony

    Imogene every woman who’s ever been in a relationship with a man has done sex work. So you know, we get it.

  86. Ron Sullivan

    …suggested that feminist activists should be walking strippers from the club to their cars to make sure they get home safely

    Uh-huh. And where were you and your fellow strippers when I was waiting at the scary bus stop at every midnight after the PM shift? After the eight hours of wiping asses? Oh wait, nurses aren’t the cause du jour of the women’s studies set, evidently.

    I wonder who you think invented women’s studies, and if you’re smart enough to spot the difference between the connotations of “the women’s studies set” as I’m using it and as Wotsisname the Famous Blogger used it in defending the infamous pie fight. (Hint: Emphases on “women” vs. on “studies.”)

    Dyke strippers aren’t new; BFD. A dyke stripper taught me to twirl tassels back in the day, come to think of it. I wouldn’t call her a radical feminist though; she just had an aversion to men. Her girlfriend, who brought the gang of us around to the bar, was a dyke who sold blowjobs. Really, that part is old hat.

    I’m not worried about your mental health, partly because I’m not inclined to figure I know much about anyone else’s but mostly because after
    Maybe they are artists and their temperments are not suited for menial, banal tasks one must do at a “normal” job

    I really don’t give a shit. I wonder if you’re smart enough to figure that out, too. I also wonder why you expect the people you dismiss so arrogantly to be all nicey and sisterly and supportive and not make your $700-a-shift ass ~cry~.

    I suggest you either quit carrying on about how insulting a “normal” shit job is or quit whining about how hard it is to tolerate the shit that comes with stripping. Or, as my dear mother used to say, shit or get off the pot.

  87. Delphyne

    “If, my fellow feminists, you really, honestly care about the well-being, safety, and health of sex workers, you might channel your energy and brilliance (which I know you have)into either improving the working conditions of the industry or, if that doesn’t suit your ideology, into coming up with non-objectifying/dangerous ways for young women without education to earn good money. THAT would help us. THAT would mean no more stripping.”

    Well as you’ve said you have quite a bit of spare time for activism given that your job only takes up a few hours of your week Imogene, perhaps you’d like to get started on this project. I’m sure everybody here will be happy to support you.

    I don’t know what they taught you at UCLA Women’s Studies Dept but feminism is a grassroots political movement which means that when activists have ideas they take the lead on them themselves and try to get others to join in rather than telling another group to get on with the work.

  88. Delphyne

    What do male UCLA undergrads do to pay their way through college? I’m guessing they don’t strip, so how do they make these mythical big bucks that students seem to think they deserve to earn.

  89. I Heart Twisty

    Well, Delphyne, many male (and female) college students are supported by their parents and don’t have to work. Lucky them.

    Also, why are people putting words in my mouth? I never said I make $700/shift. I guess it helps your argument to make assumptions though.

    So now dykes, as opposed to being politically conscious, simply “have an aversion to men.” Wow, I thought homophobic feminists went out of style a few decades ago after that whole NOW fiasco. The 1970s called, and they want their lesbian stereotypes back.

    “I really don’t give a shit…quit whining about how hard it is to tolerate the shit that comes with stripping”

    God, you people are sounding more an more like the sexists and misogynists and patriarchs every time you comment. Is this really all the internet has to offer in the way of progressive women?

    Would you tell a 50s housewife to quit whining about her lot? A single working mom? A battered or raped woman? A pregnant teenager in a red state? It’s like your sympathy and support for women immediately stops when they become sex workers, ironically, when they may need it most. How pathetic. I’m calling bullshit.

    Your words echo the words of men who hate (and abuse) whores. It is the exact same language and accusations: we’re mentally unstable, we’re too lazy to do any “hard” “real” work, we’re man-haters, and we should just do our jobs like the sluts we are and Shut The Fuck Up about how much it hurts. Lovely.

    - Imogene

  90. Delphyne

    What about the male and female students who aren’t supported by their parents and don’t strip? What do they do?

  91. I Heart Twisty

    I know that most students get at least some financial help from their parents, some get pretty good scholarships and finacial aid, and I also know quite a few girls who do various forms of sex work to pay their tuition and/or living expenses. We have a Sex Workers Outreach Project on campus. I’m not exactly a rare breed – it’s just that many students who do this type of work don’t speak out about it for obvious reasons.

    As for everyone else, I’m not sure, but I know my generation takes out huge loans and spends the majority of their adulthood in hideous debt.

  92. Delphyne

    Why not ask around? It might give you a few more ideas about what you could do apart from stripping. I mean this sounds absolutely hideous, although unsurprising given what women in stripping usually say it’s like -

    “Try wearing six inch heels all night long with no breaks, worrying whether or not you will get home alive, getting constantly molested and groped, and having to do it all with a big smile on your face. Now imagine for a second that all these things are, for some reason or another, NOT AS BAD as whatever else you could be doing to earn a living.”

    Jobs like office admin and sales clerk (I’ve done both) aren’t nearly as bad as this; in fact the experience is nothing like it, whatever you may imagine about them. A bit dull perhaps, depending on what you are doing, but I’d take dullness over sexual assault any day of the week.

  93. saltyC

    Imogene, you said you made $100/hr, and I know strippers work a 7-hour shift, so 7 X 100 = 700.

    Am I wrong?

  94. Mar Iguana

    “Intelligent people can accept complexities and contradictions within identities.” I Heart Twisty

    Indeed, perfectly intelligent people can have the ability to live with contradiction in their identity. Of course, it leads to cognitive dissonence and psychological dis-ease but, you’re right, that doesn’t mean they’re stupid.

  95. hedonistic

    Hey, so long as we’re talking cognitive dissonance, I work for the Department of Defense! Given my other options (I’m presently unable to relocate due to a child custody arrangement) it’s the only job I can find that allows me to pay my mortgage without getting married or taking in a roomate (plus I’m schizoid-reclusive, so taking in a roomate isn’t exactly a viable option).

    So, just like the stripper we’re taking the time out to bash here, I’m a Pawn of the Patriarchy too. So sue me. Thing is, it’s probably not as fun to bash defense employees as it is to bash strippers.

    Alas. Here I was painting a bullseye on my ass to distract y’all. Oh, nevermind, I guess “sex sells” on feminist websites, same as everywhere else.

  96. Delphyne

    You’re not getting sexually assaulted in your job every day, or thinking you are going to be attacked every time you walk into the carpark. That’s the problem with stripping. No woman should have to put up with treatment like that.

  97. hedonistic

    I agree, human beings do not deserve to be touched against their will (anywhere, ever, end of story).

    However, folks are taking time to bash I Heart Twisty for what is clearly her choice (albeit, her limited choice given her dearth of other high-paying alternatives), due to the conflict of interest it presents. I posit that my giving my energy to the Ulimate Patriarchal System (war) is probably just as bad, if not worse, than stripping, if living one’s politics and walking one’s talk are at issue.

  98. Mar Iguana

    Valid posit.

  99. saltyC

    Oh, Oh, poor widdle hedonist, can’t pay her mortgage without helping bomb the heads off of widdle brown children.

    Tell me something, H, how many non white children’s lives are worth one month’s mortgage? Hm?

    At least Imogene is taking the harm onto herself, YOU are pushing the harm onto others, because you don’t want to risk getting sued by your husband if you move.

    OK not everyone is strong enough to “throw your body against the gears and try to stop the machine in whatever way you can”, but are you so weak that you have to be a cog in that machine? Apparently so.

  100. saltyC

    Yeah, we’re just being academic here, no need to make any kind of effort, it’s merely a bitch fest after all.

    No need to examine ourselves, or worse yet, stand for anyone else reflecting on whatever we say we do for a living. That’s bashing.

    I’m sick of belly aching about doing something wrong because waaaaa we have a lifestyle we’re accustomed to, waaaa we need to eat sushi waaaaa we need nice shoes, so pweeese pweees pweees don’t remind me of the sick human toll because that’s bashing don’t bash you must not bash.

    No, it’s not okay to work for a defense contractor, if there were karma, the bombs would be falling on your head instead on the 665000 Iraqis.

  101. saltyC

    I don’t think I was bashing Imogene (though I did bash Hedonistic). But in response to Imogene’s contention that what she read here compares unfavorably to what men say about strippers, you should hear what guys who frequent your clubs say about you behind your back.

    I was the first woman worked at a game company where most of their social outings were to strip clubs, and what they had to say about the strippers was not nice. They really bonded over demeaning y’all, and women in general. I did not know I’d have to listen to their bravado, when I went to work there. Eventually I left, for that reason. It’s really sad how many deals are made at your clubs. It means that to really make it you had to go to the clubs to bond, and to land the big jobs. It doesn’t just hurt strippers, it hurts all women, even those not making 100 bucks an hour.

  102. hedonistic

    Thank you SaltyC I feel much better now. But as for this:

    “because I don’t want to risk getting sued by my husband if I move.”

    Not to belabor my point but if I leave this high-rent town I lose physical custody of my child. Not exactly Sophie’s Choice, mind you, BUT the world is full of folks who live with hard choices. This is why I’m less likely to cast aspersions on others: Because I’m not perfect like you, see?

  103. Pony

    A more certain pretender I’ve never seen. “I Heart Twisty”? I think you ridicule those who for various reasons all worthy, do ‘heart’ Twisty.

    You are a liar and fake from the get go. I think your degree is not in women’s studies (if you’re doing any kind of degree at all) but in creative writing.

    I’m sick to the heart of WOMEN who entertain themselves by mocking prostitutes, who think this trade in degradation of our flesh and the radical feminist work against it is good game: dilettantes, liars and pimps all, I have no doubt, pornstitutionists jerking our chain for entertainment.

  104. Twisty

    It never fails: long about Comment #100, the sugar coating just melts away.

  105. Pony

    Maybe everyone’s hungover? I can’t claim that too bad. A Women’s Studies degree earned by stripping? C’mon. The science fiction thread started over here.

  106. Mar Iguana

    The sugar coating just rots the teeth anyway. I’m with Pony. I perceive poseur.

    I’m sorry you have a child custody issue, hedonistic. I didn’t know. That’s tough.

  107. Delphyne

    Unfortunately being a stripper is quite the thing amongst some Women’s Studies majors (something about it being empowering, I hear). It’s quite possible that Imogene is exactly who she says she is.

  108. Luckynkl

    And, yes, I am a radical feminist dyke stripper.

    You could sit in a rock garden and call yourself a rock. That wouldn’t make you one.

    If you want to strip for a living, hey, knock yourself out. That’s your prerogative. What I’m taking issue with is patriarchy a la mode being served up on a plate and calling it feminism. Radical feminism, no less. (Altho, truth be told, there is no other kind). Nah, you’re no radical feminist. You have more in common with frat boys than you do radical feminists.

    I don’t know kind of garbage they’re teaching you over at that patriarchal crap trap called UCLA, but it becomes rather obvious to me that you don’t have the slightest clue what radical feminism is about. You seem to have radical feminism confused with liberalism, libertarianism, and conservatism and can’t seem to differentiate between any of them. You’re not exactly the brightest crayon in the box. Now please stop leaving home without wearing your stupid sign.

    It is true that radical feminists do not provide escort services for strippers. We’re not in the habit of pimping for the patriarchy and providing them with fresh meat. We also don’t provide escort services for female heroin addicts to and from their drug dealers, don’t supply get-away cars for women during bank heists, nor do we provide escort services for women to and from abusive households. I think you have feminists confused with your mommy. Feminists are not your mommy, ok? Feminists are not here to nurture, excuse, support, protect and unconditionally accept every idiotic and assinine thing a woman thinks, says or does. That’s your mommy’s job. Well, the one the patriarchs assigned to her, anyways. Do not confuse us with your mommy again, ok? There’s only 4 people on this planet that may call me mommy. You’re not one of them.

    What radical feminists will try and provide women with, are one-way tickets. One-way tickets out. However, our resources are kinda limited, being that many of us work at those crappy receptionist jobs and all.

    As for waitressing, I’m not sure where you waitressed, but the waitresses I know that work in half decent restaurants haul in only $50 less than you do on the weekend. Without dancing, without having to work in heels, without having to pretend that poles are attractive, and without having to take off one stitch of clothing. I know this because 2 of my daughters are waitresses. They both make more money than I do. One bought her own house by the time she was 21, put herself through school and got her degree in forensic science and graduated with a 4.0 average. She didn’t require one ounce of help from me or her dad or from financial aid. She did it all on her own, waitressing. She was one of 5 selected by the state to work in their new state crime lab. She turned them down. She made more money waitressing. Without an iota of the humiliation, degradation and harrassment a stripper is subjected to.

    The alternatives are there. You’re just not interested in them. Now stop blowing smoke up our ass. You’re about as feminist as my brother’s left nut. Just being a woman and getting a degree in Women’s Studies won’t make you one either. Btw, in most places, Women’s Studies are now called Gender Studies . Did you skip that class?

    Now tell the truth and shame the devil. You’re not really a student in Women’s Studies over at UCLA, now are you? Nor are you a dyke. And you’re definitely not a radical feminist. I suspect you’re nothing more than just another run-of-the-mill, liberal, anti-radical-feminist troll. Yawn.

  109. I Heart Twisty

    Wow. You people are fucking vicious.

    You don’t really have to believe me. And it is sad that I have to find some way to “prove” my feminist/lesbian credentials to you, but I’ll try because, well, gosh darn it, it just means so much to me that you, my supposed allies, understand where I’m coming from.

    The UCLA program is still called Women’s Studies, although some of us are petitioning to change the name to Gender Studies because we feel it is more accurate and UCLA needs to catch up to other universities. It is ultimately up to the chairs of the department.

    So far I have studied with two great feminist scholars, Sandra Harding and Sondra Hale, known for their work in feminist science/philosophy and anthropology, respectively. I took a class from Ellen Dubois, who has spent a lifetime writing about the American suffrage movement. I have studied under Dr. Linda Garnets, who has written some great stuff about lesbian psychology. I also took a class on violence against women, and one about women in the media.

    I have read Judith Butler and Susan Brownmiller and bell hooks and Patricia Hill Collins and Susan Bordo and Dworkin and MacKinnon and of course the classics like Steinem and Friedan. I know almost every major feminist text as well as some more modern, obscure contributions to the field. Some of them resonate with me more than others -I am a big fan of Pat Califia and Judith Halberstam, and, though she is a little more mainsteam and less academic, Naomi Wolf. My focus has been on queer theory and critical media/cultural studies. I assure you, I am no troll.

    As for being a dyke, well, I have never yet been in the position to defend my status as an oppressed sexual minority, so I suppose you’ll have to take my word for it. And I’m not one of those girls who dates femmey little things so that nobody harrasses or feels threatened by me either, I like big, hairy, buzz-cut butches, and I’m proud of it. I have been with my current partner for two years, and we are planning to get a domestic partnership after I graduate. I am a busy activist in the area of LGBT rights. I am currently applying for an internship with assembly woman Sheila Kuehl of Los Angeles.

    I don’t know what more I can say except for this. I became interested in feminism after I was raped as a teenager. Nobody cared – not the doctors, not the police, not my so-called friends, nobody except for the feminists. They gave me a voice and a cause and a lot to read. Their compassion and anger together mobilized me. Then I looked around, and began to notice everything from a patriarchy-blaming lens, and boy did it make sense! I will never forget that moment in my life. My experience as a woman was, at last, validated. And I wasn’t alone.

    I am a feminist to my very core. I live it and breath it. I’ll fight for women until I die. I am a feminist because women don’t earn enough, we can’t control our own bodies, we’re hurt and accosted every day, etc etc etc. You know, what Twisty says. I want the same things all of you want. But I also want to be safe doing my job. I want to know that my sisters have my back.

    After all this, it occurs to me you may never be convinced that I am telling the truth. I probably just did a lot of google and wikipedia searches, you’ll say. So say it. But my hope is that at least one woman reading this will believe me and understand.

    I never said stripping was empowering or positive or fun or harmless. That’s what the real troll would say, that is what the person would say who has never done sex work. Go back and read my previous post. I believe I said that, for myself and quite a few other women, stripping is the best out of a handful of imperfect options. You know, kind of like how the Democrats are significantly better than the Republicans, even though they are all part of the same patriarchy.

    And what I am asking of you is not to cheer for me and throw confetti, but to understand why some women might go into sex work, women who are not merely horrible-stupid-lazy-liar-fake-crackhead-whining-babies. (Read: all the lovely names you have called me so far). Women who are human like you, who make choices based on not only physical but emotional survival. That would make you better feminists, no?

    Instead, you shame and you bash. You think sex workers don’t get enough shit from our families, our clients, our bosses, and society in general? You think people just roll out the red carpet when they see us coming? No. Actually, they make jokes about killing us. And sometimes they do it.

    The women on this board have merely joined that crowd. Not even artfully, at that. The same myths and stereotypes perpetuated, the same stories ignored, the same name-calling. Congradulations, if that makes you feel like a more “authentic” Radical Feminist.

    - Imogene

  110. Delphyne

    Imogene you’re not getting disagreement because you work as a stripper, you’re getting disagreement because you work as a stripper and are calling yourself a radical feminist.

    Radical feminism means something, it’s not just a label that anybody who thinks they are a bit “rad” can attach to themselves. If you are pro the sex industry, you aren’t a radical feminist, it’s pretty simple.

    As for stripping I really hope that you think about some of the alternatives that people have suggested here, or find some of your own. Nobody deserves the sexual abuse and threats that you are having to deal with. In any other job you would be able to sue your employer for the way you are being treated or even call the police, in stripping that appears to be part of what men think they are paying for.

  111. Mandos

    Almost everyone in the US and perhaps many people outside the US work in some way for the US defence department…

  112. Pony

    I realize this is a long shot:

    If you have Windows Media Player, go to this link, then on the right, under WEST click on VANCOUVER, and in about 15 minutes listen to a 30 minute current interview with ANITA HILL.

    {Followed by Diane Reeves singing “Endangered Species” (woman of course.}

    http://www.cbc.ca/listen/#

    I am posting this at 9 a.m. pacific time. No matter what time you are, you can listen to Anita in about 15 minutes if you click on the link. Worth it. Yeh.

  113. Pony

    Imogene I think you have serious reading comprehension problems. Speaking for myself but I think this follows for a couple other posters–I am not bashing a sex worker, as you well know. I’m bashing an asshole troll pretending to be one.

  114. Pony

    Up here in the frozen wilds I’d somehow completely missed this singer. Here are the lyrics to the song which followed the Anita Hill interview. Amazing voice:

    http://www.artsandlectures.ucsb.edu/archive/2001-2002/perform/reeves.asp

    DIANNE REEVES lyrics – “Endangered Species”

    I am an endangered species
    But I sing no victim’s song
    I am a woman I am an artist
    And I know where my voice belongs

    I am a woman I exist
    I shake my fist but not my hips
    My skin is dark my body is strong
    I sing of rebirth no victim’s song

    I am an endangered species
    But I sing no victim’s song
    I am a woman I am an artist
    And I know where my voice belongs

    They cut out my sex they bind my feet
    Silence my reflex no tongue to speak
    I work in the fields I work in the store
    I type up the deals and I mop the floors
    I am an endangered species
    But I sing no victim’s song
    I am a woman I am an artist
    And I know where my voice belongs

    My body is fertile I bring life about
    Drugs, famine, and war, take them back out
    My husband can beat me his right they say
    And rape isn’t rape you say I like it that way

    I am an endangered species
    But I sing no victim’s song
    I am a woman I am an artist
    And I know where my voice belongs
    I know where my soul belongs
    I know where I belong

  115. Luckynkl

    Wow. You people are fucking vicious.

    But, but, but I thought you liked big, hairy, buzz-cut butches? Now you’re whining because we’re not all femmey and sugar and spice and everything nice? Which is it? Make up your mind.

    Instead, you shame and you bash. You think sex workers don’t get enough shit from our families, our clients, our bosses, and society in general? You think people just roll out the red carpet when they see us coming? No. Actually, they make jokes about killing us. And sometimes they do it.

    Sounds serious. Maybe it would be in your best interests to find another job?

    I am a big fan of Pat Califia

    Pat Califia? Oh, you mean the Pat Califia that’s heavy into S & M and thinks that if she closes her eyes and taps her ruby slippers 3 times, she can turn herself into an oppressing, woman-hating dude named Patrick? Pat, the sadomasochistic pornographer? Who imagines herself to be a sex radical? And a feminist? ROFL. Talk about being as feminist as my brother’s left nut!

    Queer theory and postmodernism. No wonder you’re so confused and mixed up and have everything half assed backwards, upside down and sideways!

    In this beauty of a dude theory, it’s not our gender roles that are the problem. It’s our sex! So ladies, if you don’t like the color pink and take a shine to sports and driving trucks, your mother fucked up. You were supposed to be born a dude! Now head right on down to your local butcher and step right on up to the veg-o-matic (it slices! it dices! it chops!), so you can be rebirthed properly by your pappa, instead of your stupid mother, who can’t get anything right, including your sex. You too, can be Athena, and spring right out of pappa Zeus’s head!

    I mean, come on now. Don’t you know that’s where babies come from? They’re not born in cabbage patches. The stork doesn’t bring them. And they don’t come from mothers. They come from inside daddy’s head, on the blade of a knife! (Ribs are out-dated, you see).

    If you think the religious wingnuts are bad, stay tuned for the postmodernists and queer theorists. Who advocate and promote even more gender than the godbags, would like our bodies, not just our minds, carved to fit the role, and the law to enforce it and make these human rights violations a-ok.

    Pat Califia, indeed. Radical and subversive, my ass. Gender role advocation and enforcement, self-loathing misogyny, pornography, sadomasochism, transgenderism, mutilation, and human rights violations. This is about as opposite and as far removed from radical feminism and as patriarchy loving and supporting as it just about gets.

  116. Pony

    Thanks for the annotation Lucky. I could smell it but had no names for it.

  117. Luckynkl

    Almost everyone in the US and perhaps many people outside the US work in some way for the US defence department…

    How right you are, Mandos. Just yesterday morning, I went to IHOP. No doubt about it. Pancakes are the U.S.’s new secret weapon. It was also obvious that IHOP was stockpiling The Rooty Tooty.

  118. I Heart Twisty

    OOOOhhhh now I get it, you folks are THOSE kind of feminists. The ones who not only hate sex workers, but trannies too! And BDSM. And any identity, desire, and unique experience that is for one reason or another (namely, psychological and economic survival) slightly more complicated than Patriarchy Destroyer.

    Why did I even bother?

    - “If I can’t dance, it’s not my revolution” Imogene

  119. Delphyne

    I think it’s you that’s the hater Imogene. From what I’ve come across from Women’s Studies grads, woman-hating is at the centre of the curriculum on a lot of courses these days. It seems to have been turned into a modern day version of finishing school or a home economics classroom.

    Admiring a woman who hates femaleness so much she denies her own and carves swastikas into other women’s backs – now what is that about? It certainly isn’t feminism.

  120. hedonistic

    Hm, I’m thinking about this so-called third-wave trend toward rethinking gender. Rethinking gender can offer value (I believe) but is it really another wave of feminism? Or is it an offshoot, something entirely different, and do we err when we conflate the two?

    I don’t have an answer, because I haven’t stepped foot in a univerity for 18 years. I do know woman-hating when I see it, though.

  121. saltyC

    Hedonistic, I’m sorry I made light of your custody issues. I was grumpy because my baby-daddy is in town and is also threatening a custody fight too. It was a classic case of self-hate projection. or something. Sorry.

    I’d still work as a thousand strippers before working for a defense contractor.

  122. saltyC

    Now I understand the problem with gender studies: it takes male domination as a given, so long as it’s sexy same with stripping. Don’t question it if it gets you off.

  123. hedonistic

    No problem SaltyC, I put the bullseye on my ass on purpose.

    The real problem with gender studies is the real problem with everything: We’re so steeped in our patriarchal assumptions that we’re constantly confused about what’s what. For instance: We can’t help but conflate gender and privilege, or gender and sex, and then so we go off thinking/saying silly things that make sense given our histories, but are actually just kind of confused.

    Which brings on a 1970′s flashback: “Madge, you’re soaking in it!”

    That’s why I love Twisty’s ability to consistently breakitDOWN, and why I keep on coming back.

  124. Pony

    I’m very nervous that some day I’m going to log on here, and this Women’s Studies course we call IBTP will have disappeared. I’m serious, (if not also off on a tangent. Again.) Is all this being backed up anywhere? I know–google–but that could disappear too. I hope Twisty has it all burned to cd or something.

  125. Luckynkl

    posted by Imogene:
    OOOOhhhh now I get it, you folks are THOSE kind of feminists. The ones who not only hate sex workers, but trannies too! And BDSM.

    Yeah, we don’t reduce people into fuck holes and penis accessories, and aren’t into pain, torture, mutilation, slavery, hierarchies, gender roles, oppression and other human rights violations. What could we be thinking? What’s a little Chinese footbinding? FGM? Suttee? It’s sexeeeey!

    And of course, it’s only because we hate people that we don’t go along with the program and support it.

    Reverse things much?

    What’s next? Telling people of color that their non-support of slavery and racism in Amerikkka is oppressive and hateful of white people? Telling Iraqis they don’t support the invasion and bombing if their country only because they’re hateful of Amerikkkans? Sheesh. Don’t these people know that slave/master/sado-masochism is “in” and really, really cool these days? How hateful of them!

    Sounds ludicrous, no? No worries, Imogene. I don’t blame you. I blame the patriarchy. These slick little weasels mess with everyone’s head.

    posted by Imogene:
    And any identity, desire, and unique experience that is for one reason or another (namely, psychological and economic survival) slightly more complicated than Patriarchy Destroyer.,

    It’s really not all that complicated, Imogene. The patriarchs want to have slaves, fuck holes, grub, espn, and to be god and have absolute power over the universe and make everyone and everything their bitch. The more successful they are at achieving these goals, the more admired, respected and god-like they becomes in other men’s eyes. What’s so complicated about that? Cats are more complicated than they are.

    As far as our universities, they, like every other institution, is owned by the patriarchy. Now just what do you suppose the patriarchs are going to make sure gets taught and encouraged? Feminism? Women’s liberation? Teach women how to subvert and erradicate their system? ROFL. Yeah. Sure. Ok. That might happen. Just why do you think they changed the name from Women’s Studies to Gender Studies? Come on, folks. This is a no-brainer. The patriarchy’s institutions are about the last place one should go looking to learn about feminism. The patriarchy is not going to teach you feminism, fool. They’re going to invisibilize women’s oppression and teach you how to be their bitch. Duh.

  126. saltyC

    It seems we’ve already been digested by the gender-studies-set into a neat little turd for mass consumtpion.

    We don’t have money, time or resources. We simply recognize our abuse for what it is, we connect the dots and see that our lives could have been so much more without the chains of patriarchy. Yes we hate the chains, and we blame the white men who invented them.

    At least Imogen is coming here and reading and I hope we can instill some suspicion, that the taste of shit in her mouth is not chronic halitosis, but that turd they gave her for homework.

  127. I Heart Twisty

    Look, I can see why some feminists might have a problem with BDSM. I have a problem with it when women are on the bottom, but not vice versa.

    But your problems with trans people are nothing more than generic bigotry disguised as patriarchy-blaming.

    You think trans people are living the easy life while we women suffer under the thumb of The Man? No siree. Just like sex workers, transgendered men and women are socially ostracized, discriminated against in housing and employment, humiliated and vilified in the media, and beaten, raped, tortured, and murdered at staggering rates. Have you talked to a transsexual lately? (Well, besides telling them that their entire sense of self is a bullshit myth fed to them by the patriarchy) Some of them can barely do their grocery shopping without being harrassed. Talk about human rights violations!

    Sex workers and trans people need feminist allies. We are two of the most vulnerable social groups and we are suffering while all you folks can muster up the conviction to do is tell us we are collaborating with the oppressors and then ignore us.

    “Find another job” Sure, Luckynkl, and then I’ll just send you my $600/month medical bills. That’s cool, right?

    -Imogene

  128. antiprincess

    Look, I can see why some feminists might have a problem with BDSM. I have a problem with it when women are on the bottom, but not vice versa.

    well, some might say that a woman is always on the bottom in any sort of “scene”, even if she’s playing the role of the top.

    I’m not sure I personally would say that, but some people might.

  129. Mar Iguana

    “(Well, besides telling them that their entire sense of self is a bullshit myth fed to them by the patriarchy)” Imogene

    And, that’s inaccurate, how? By the way, who’s buying the keg so far?

  130. maribelle

    Imogene–relax, I come in peace *waving white flag*

    Your thoughts in this thread have touched me alot, in part because I have known many women in your situation. I worked in the industry for awhile in the 80′s, so I do know firsthand. I’m going to assume you’re not a troll for the sake of argument and because I have known many women who use similar reasoning.

    A couple of thoughts to consider:
    1. Please consider that the women here are not attacking, but attempting to encourage you to let go of something that is harmful to you, whether you think so or not. Even Luckynkl, who is part pitbull, speaks her words from a standpoint of care and concern for other women, including you.

    2. Please reread your own words; on the one hand, you want feminists to support you in your choice to strip. On the other hand, you admit it’s very demeaning, difficult work, and the man are all “assholes”–and you “expect them to be” assholes. But because you make a lot of money at it, we are expected to be supportive. I can’t encourage any women to stay in a job that is as degrading and demeaning and dangerous as stripping is, no matter how much money she makes. Would you encourage your daughter, little sister or mother to go into this line of work just because of the money?

    3. Speaking of money, here’s the line that says it all, (and possibly signaled you as a troll to other posters)

    I’ll probably be in sex work after I get my Women’s Studies B.A. – I have heard that degrees in the humanities and social sciences don’t exactly pave the way to riches.

    So if women’s studies doesn’t pay as much as getting groped for money you’ll abandon it? *Sigh.* What to say to this?

    It isn’t about education: Uneducated or with education, you’re still going to strip because it pays better than your other options.

    So if feminists supported stripping, because it’s the best financial option for women, how does that do anything to turn the patriarchal system around?

  131. saltyC

    OK I’m biting the trans- bait.

    Radical feminism does not “hate” transexuals. We don’t believe in staring, harrassing, housing discrimination, etc. If there’s a bill or movement against any dehumanization, then I’m for it. I have and will speak out against name-calling and ridicule.

    But I won’t support forcing men into women-only spaces against the will of the women just because the men say they’re women. I believe women are real, we are born with uteruses and we come in all flavors and sexual orientations, and just because a man says and believes he’s a woman doesn’t make him one, especially when that belief is completely based on the most shallow male definitions of femininity.

  132. hedonistic

    Hey jesswaitaminutethere. Is gender a social construct or is it biologically determined? Now I’m confused.

    (no, I’m not, I’m being facaetious)

    I posit we cannot have it both ways.

  133. saltyC

    I wasn’t talking bout gender, I was talking about women. Hope this clarifies: Uteri are not man-made, silicone is.

  134. Pony

    Luckynkl is a pit bull? I think that’s uncalled for. I wish we had more of her, and wish you’d read and re-read what she’s said until you get it. Perhaps it was too plainly put for you? Luckynkl spoke the truth, in clean spare prose showing clean spare thinking, instead of wallowing around in constructs and memes.

  135. Pony

    I just spent all morning trying to find a bra that fit me. Finally, to my rueful comment that they didn’t seem to stock bras for real women I was told “we really don’t carry bras in your size, because you know, most times the only women who have that size have had like, breast enlargement, and they don’t like, need a bra.

    So. Women are passe. Now, it’s the pornified and transgendered ‘woman’ that is the real woman.

    Luckynkl and SaltyC have it dead on.

  136. hedonistic

    I can be a biological determinist when it suits my convenience, and without losing my feminist street cred? Kewl!

  137. hedonistic

    I mean, if I had any to begin with.

  138. saltyC

    I’m not a biological determinist. AFAIK, bio-determinists say femininity is genetic.

  139. Pony

    Feminine. Female. How hard can it be? One is bought, the other is born.

    I just read through the Bomis/pornography-cum-Wikipedia gender studies pages. Sweet goddess how bad can it get? Would you ever for a minute not understand exactly what was going on if we this happened in Native Studies programs or African American Studies programs, where the blood allowed white faculty members who said they were African to take the plum research chairs?

  140. hedonistic

    OK, I think I see the problem here. I fully understand how a radfem would consider a man who:

    a. adopts the silly and culturally imposed (artificial) construct(s) of femininity AND
    b. thinks this femmy dithering makes him a woman

    IRRITATING BEYOND MEASURE. I totally get it.

    It still doesn’t address the problem that some transmen say that they face: The feeling of a being woman born into a man’s body. They say it has nothing to do with dressing in drag or acting like a sub or what have you.

    Impossible, you say? It can’t happen because (let me guess?) there are supposedly NO mental or emotional differences between men and women that aren’t culturally imposed? Not even the teeny-weeniest bit?

    Interesting. If I’m on to something here I must say: At least you’re consistent.

  141. hedonistic

    Then again, so is the Pope.

  142. saltyC

    “It still doesn’t address the problem that some transmen say that they face: The feeling of a being woman born into a man’s body. They say it has nothing to do with dressing in drag or acting like a sub or what have you.”

    I’ll let such a person come here and speak for herself before addressing whether such feelings entitle her to force herself into Michfest.

  143. I Heart Twisty

    Let me prefix my arguement by saying that I do believe the women of MWMF deserve their own safe space AND I believe the world needs to make more room for feminine men and masculine women who don’t actually change genders AND I believe, if Women’s Studies has taught me anything, that gender is socially constructed as opposed to biologically determined.

    BUT. I’m also not going to deny someone’s understanding of him/herself and his/her life just because it isn’t politically correct. I’m not going to insist that they are sick and brainwashed. I’m going to listen to them sympathetically.

    For whatever reason, (and if you ask me it isn’t genetic but probably a combination of environmental factors), some people feel their external anatomy doesn’t correspond to their spirit/mind/soul. Who am I to tell them this isn’t true or valid? If they want to change their bodies because it will make them happy and prevent them from committing suicide, so be it.

    We have to stop policing people. Sometimes they are making the best choices for themselves, and we need to accept it so long as nobody else gets hurt. Hell, even if it isn’t the “best” choice, it is theirs to make.

    - Imogene

  144. maribelle

    I said:

    Even Luckynkl, who is part pitbull, speaks her words from a standpoint of care and concern for other women, including you.

    Pony-I said “part-pitbull” while acknowledging her “care and concern for other women”. Context is all.

    And since when is “pitbull” an insult? In all seriousness, I thought Luckynkl would take it as a compliment. She doesn’t exactly scream “poodle” with her style.

    To clarify: Lucky, I *do* know your work; I’ve read you on several blogs and boards and I usually say “right on!” and yes, you do scare me a little. Because you’re so vehement and you don’t mince language. But I’m very glad to have someone like you on my team.

    Believe me, Pony, I “get it” and then some. Could you please consider context and not make assumptions when you are delivering your pithy hit-and-runs on other people’s comments?

  145. Pony

    I’ll do my best Maribelle. If you will. Part Pitbull is an insult, unless Lucky says it about herself. You know; I’m a half-breed don’t you dare call me that though. I don’t feel I can enter the academic style conversations here and anyway, as you’ve observed, that’s not my style. I think I pretty well boil it down though. If you and others want to discuss away and 3 hours later come to the same conclusion I did (pretty much) that’s ok with me, just don’t insist we all have to do it. One of the things native people frequently comment on about whites is all the blather.

  146. hedonistic

    Imogene, just FYI, having one’s personal experiences/choices either denied and/or stomped upon is part-and-parcel of the overall IBTP experience. Not always (or even necessarily) by our witty host, but by those visitors who hold hard to radfem theory and take no prisoners. I get where they’re coming from and I got used to it, but I’m just dropping this note to say I hear ya. Here, and there too.

    Oh and Pony – - after years working on the rez I got that too: There is honor in communicating as succinctly as possible, even to the point of one-liners. If a person can communicate a world of meaning in a whispered one-liner, WOW, practically elder status right there. Is it a drive-by? Yeah. So?

  147. maribelle

    One of the things native people frequently comment on about whites is all the blather.

    Why do you assume I’m white?

    As I said before Please consider context and [do] not make assumptions

    I have no objection to the pithiness of your posts Pony; often you hit at an essential truth. But pithy/brusque–it’s a fine line. And then when you make false assumptions about people on top of the brusqueness, your “hit and run” can pack a whallop. Is all I’m saying.

    If I have offended Lucky, I will certainly apologize as that was never my intention; quite the opposite. That’s for her to say.

    ~Maribelle, from a long, noble line of blatherers

  148. Pony

    We don’t have a lot of blacks, latinos and Arabs in Saskatchewan. So. My remark is relative to what I know. And regarding my style of communication. The fuck. I didn’t tell you to quit blabbing on regurgitating yourself over and over. Did I?

  149. saltyC

    “those visitors who hold hard to radfem theory”

    I hold to no theory. I speak from the heart.

  150. maribelle

    And regarding my style of communication. The fuck.

    You commented regarding my style of communication, and assumed I had insulted Lucky. The fuck.

    I didn’t tell you to quit blabbing on regurgitating yourself over and over. Did I?

    You just did–that’s twice. See “blathering” above.

  151. Pony

    I’ve not heard anything you said. I couldn’t over the din of the delivery. Got it yet?

  152. Luckynkl

    Maribelle said:
    Even Luckynkl, who is part pitbull…

    You’re not calling me a bitch, now are you? :P

    Pony said:
    You know; I’m a half-breed don’t you dare call me that though.

    Hey, me too! I’m apparently half human and half pitbull! :P

    Ok, ok, you’re both right. No, I usually don’t identify with dogs. A domesticated animal that obeys their master’s commands, eats its own shit and is considered man’s best friend. I really, really don’t think men consider me their best friend tho. Altho I’m sure there’s more than a few of them out there that really do wish I’d eat shit and obey them. And then their alarm clocks go off and they wake up.

    In context tho, I really don’t think Maribelle’s comparison of me to a pitbull was meant to be an insult. So I didn’t take it as one. I knew what she was trying to say and why. So it made me laugh. Had it been a man that made the remark, however, I might have obliged him and acted like one and promptly bit his nuts off. :P Altho pitbulls are more noted for for latching on and locking their jaws and then shaking what’s between their clenched teeth, to and fro. Which might make for a more interesting visual. :P

    But any ways, thank you, Pony, you know you’re my hero. Altho I wish you’d quit being as bad as I am about reading your pms. You’ve had one sitting in your box over at gendersburg since Oct.

    And nah, I’m not scary, Maribelle. I just ferociously love women is all. What’s so scary about that? Yeah, I know, I know, we as womenm aren’t use to that. It’s just totally radical.

  153. Luckynkl

    P.S. Forgive the misspellings. (Did I misspell that too?) It’s almost 2 a.m. and I’ve been running the State all day so I’m a bit tired. I have to get up and do again tomorrow too. It’s a dirty job, but someone’s got to do it. :P

  154. Pony

    Luckynkl I’ll check my pms tout suite.

    Maribelle, I agree with your original message. But you do talk white.

  155. Pony

    I don’t know where to answer your pm Luckynkl.

  156. mearl

    Whooee! Lurked back to this set of posts and I have to say that I never heard such a hypocritical pile of shit coming out of anyone’s keyboard as I have from Imogene’s. Radical feminist stripper. Hmm. What’s next? Lobbying for the causes of animal rights and vegetarianism while working in the slaughterhouse because you “can’t make that much money at any other job?” Yuh-huh.

    You know what, I don’t protest the need for those who were coerced or forced into the sex industry to have protection insofar as they can have it in that line of work, but for those women who have many many many many other choices for work (although they may bring in less dough and be harder, boo hoo HOO), and for those women who have been educated on how roundly HARMFUL the sex industry is to women inside and outside the industry, and how it affects men’s perceptions of women as a gender, it is so unbelievably blockheaded to sit there and defend your choice. I don’t dispute for one minute that Imogene has made a choice. However, it’s like saying you make the choice to go back to your pedophile husband (since as a footnote, he makes a lot of money and you won’t have to work), even though he molested you and your kids, and then crowing that since you’re female, this must be viewed as an empowering feminist choice. Just because you’re a feminist on a few fronts doesn’t mean you’re supporting feminism on all fronts, or that you aren’t undercutting it in a MAJOR way. Feminism, when morphing into pluralism and positivism, starts looking suspiciously like backlash. It also starts to resemble a big old justification for buying into those aspects of the patriarchy that benefit one’s personal life. Patriarchy has always been supported by some women, and here we have another example. But, of course, I’m sure anyone can find some vague postmodernist post-post-feminist way of justifying their need for quick cash if they try hard enough.

    Funny how, since the feminist revolution of the 60s/70s, the sex industry isn’t shrinking, it’s growing. Porn (which AIN’T sex) is becoming more violent and degrading, and the methods for procuring new “talent” are becoming more devious. Kids in war zones and women from poor countries and all that fun stuff. Don’t think that if you work in sex work, you aren’t contributing to that contiuum. Also, with all the crowing about women claiming our unfettered sexuality, society’s outlook on sex is still ridiculously lopsided and all the material seems to look the same.

    Oh and on the subject of trannies and constructed gender, the whole fucking point of trying to identify gender as a construct was to elucidate how humans of both sexes are actually mentally quite androgynous, and can have the whole range of human emotional and personality traits. NOT to have everyone stuck in either a male or female stereotype but allow some crossover via invasive and unnecessary surgery.

  157. mearl

    Sorry about that grammar and spelling.

  158. MRS ROBINSON

    Stopping the insanity:
    http://www.house.gov/
    At the top left, you can plug in your zip code and find your representative’s name.
    Once you know the name, you can click their name to go to their website and call their local office, or email them or you can call the House operator at (202) 224-3121 and ask to be connected with your representative’s office.
    You can use the following, or you can use your own:
    “Hi, my name is First & Last Name, and I am a constituent living in[town/city]. I’m calling to urge Congress(woman/man) First and Last Name, to fight against H.R.5575, a bill introduced by Representatives Maloney and Smith that seeks to further victimize disadvantaged women and children under the guise of helping them.
    The bill increases resources for law enforcement to arrest and prosecute those who have turned to sex work to support themselves and their families, often these women and children are trying to escape situation of abuse, and they are only further victimized by the trauma of arrest and the inability to seek gainful employment with a criminal history of prostitution on their record.
    The Bureau of Justice Statistics reports slightly over 1200 cases of human trafficking were alleged over a 21 month period of time and only 10% of those were found to be valid, including labor, sex, children and adults, however anti-prostitution organizations disguising themselves as advocates for victims of sex trafficking, have greatly inflated these statistics and often present them without citing their source of information while encouraging support for legislation knowing the legislation has been proven to be harmful to these victims.
    These non-government organizations are further exploiting these women and children by fraudulently soliciting funds to help them through donations and attempting to defraud congress by cleverly disguising legislation which would grant them millions of dollars to help these victims, knowing those funds will be unnecessary because they are ensuring those victims will be arrested and sent to jail. For example, the results of the FBI’s Lost Innocence Initiative, which is funded to rescue children who are being forced into prostitution, resulted in 69 children and 880 adults rescued and sent to jail from January – December 2010, none of which appear to have been consulted in regards to the mission.
    Will the Congress(woman/man) First and Last Name, please help stop legislation which is being presented as helpful to victims by their self-proclaimed “advocates”, without first consulting those victims which do still have voices but are currently being ignored because they don’t have the money or the resources required to be heard ?
    __________________

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