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Jul 20 2011

From the No Shit, Sherlock Dept.

I hope you’re sitting down, because you’re going to be shocked, shocked at the totally unexpected results of this study on crime and prostitution:

Men who pay for sex are more likely than non-buyers to commit a variety of offenses, including violent crimes against women, according to research conducted in the Boston area.

I know, right? It seems impossible! I mean, as the liberal dudes are always telling us deluded, unfunny, hairy harridans, prostitution and pornography are awesome! It’s a victimless crime, a harmless way for regular guys to do what comes naturally according to their evolutionary destiny. Also, prostitution and pornography empower women! Seriously, those bitches are laughing all the way to the bank!

And yet, here are these pornsick johns (or, as Reuters quaintly refers to them, “buyers of commercial sex”), roaming the city of Boston, committing felonies and assaulting women left and right. It’s almost as if there’s a relationship between violence and misogyny!

For example, significantly fewer sex buyers, 47 percent against 70 percent, reported that they were taught about respect for women in sex education classes.

Almost three in four of the sex buyers reported they learned about sex from pornography, whereas only 54 percent of the non-buyers did so.

The two groups also held significantly different attitudes regarding whether prostitution was consenting sex or exploitation. Men who bought sex were significantly less empathetic toward women working as prostitutes.

But sex buyers “seemed to justify their involvement in the sex industry by stating their belief … that women in prostitution were intrinsically different from non-prostituting women,” the study’s authors said.

And my very favorite:

Sex buyers often commented that they liked the power relationship intrinsic to prostitution.

Well knock me over with a feather.

Discuss.

130 comments

2 pings

  1. allhellsloose

    Also you get liberal doods counter arguing that sex work is no more demeaning than those who do a 37 hour grind on minimum wage. Liberal doods will also moan that the report was compiled by a woman who is anti-prostitution and therefore a religiously influenced prude (boo hiss) who wants just to take all the fun away.

    Lack of empathy within the buyer group is also a jaw dropping moment for me. Well I never! Three quarters in both groups believed that the women were in some way coercied into prostitution – will my mouth ever close?

    But this is priceless:
    “But sex buyers “seemed to justify their involvement in the sex industry by stating their belief … that women in prostitution were intrinsically different from non-prostituting women,” the study’s authors said.”

    In other words, the Madonna/whore complex – ha take that liberal doods who think you’re free of religious influence!

  2. Belle

    Whoa! Really? Sheesh. Whodaguest? And the one that struck me hard: “Almost three in four of the sex buyers reported they learned about sex from pornography, whereas only 54 percent of the non-buyers did so.”

    Will wonders never cease…. NSS indeed.

  3. Rididill

    Does feminism EVER get shit wrong?

    Is there any greater indication of how women=sex that when they talk about using prostitutes they talk about ‘buying sex’. When what they really mean is, paying for the use and control of a woman for a limited period. As when they talk about ‘sex sells’, what they actually mean is using sexualised images of women sells.

    We are sex.

    But when you call it sex, instead of women, it’s a nice natural evolutiony thing, right? Instead of the disgusting exploitation they are actually talking about.

    Maybe one day your blog will become a real island and we can all move to it.

  4. Lovepug

    How can this be? We all just loved Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman. Richard Gere bought her jewelry and everything!

    Next these sex-hating researchers will be telling us that strippers are not really college girls just trying to earn their tuition.

  5. Sarah

    Next they’ll be telling us that, contrary to popular belief, prostitutes actually can be raped! And that women ? vaginas ! The world, it crumbles.

  6. Sarah

    Oh drat. That “?” was supposed to be a “does not equal” symbol. You know, like a combo pack of = and /. Foiled again by simple HTML!

  7. TwissB

    @Jill
    Please identify the study that is the source of the quotes in your post.

    Newsweek has just published what has to be its first serious article on prostitution and the harms associated with it – and not one reference to “oldest profession! The article is built on feminist psychologist Melissa Farley’s just-published study of prostitution users in the Boston area. Farley is the author of “Prostitution and Trafficking in Nevada: Making the Connections” and is the target of vicious attacks by the pro-postitution lobby. As anyone who reads her work or goes to her website – http://www.prostitutionresearch.org – must know, Farley is as far as you can get from the hypocritical religous stereotype or liberal voyeurs like Nicholas Kristof who don’t repudiate prostitution as such and only care about “rescuing” prostituted slender, doe-eyed, brown-skinned teen girls. The Newsweek article also quotes Dorchen Leidholdt and Norma Ramos, longtime activists against pornography and prostitution. These are all very smart, brave women whose national and international work deserves attention, respect and emulation.

  8. shopstewardess

    Particularly significant is the quote “significantly fewer sex buyers, 47 percent against 70 percent, reported that they were taught about respect for women in sex education classes.”

    Because of course -

    1. Women are not people, so teaching respect for people doesn’t teach respect for women, and

    2. Women are the sex class, so teaching about women can only take place in sex education.

    The full study is at http://www.prostitutionresearch.com/c-prostitution-men-who-buy-sex.html

  9. Satchel

    This was the part that really dropped my jaw:

    Overall, the attitudes and habits of sex buyers reveal them as men who dehumanize and commodify women, view them with anger and contempt, lack empathy for their suffering, and relish their own ability to inflict pain and degradation.

    I admit, I was resistant to the theory that “men hate you” a few years ago, but denial is powerless in the face of these facts.

  10. Unree

    Check out the pile-on against Melissa Farley at the Newsweek comments page. It’s worse than what allhellsloose predicted. Farley isn’t a scientist! She started out with an opinion about prostitution! The paper wasn’t peer reviewed!

    A reliable source, Echidne at the Snakes, questions some of Farley’s numbers though.

  11. Embee

    @ shopstewardess that portion jumped out at me as well! So much going on with that statement.

  12. ChariD

    For example, significantly fewer sex buyers, 47 percent against 70 percent, reported that they were taught about respect for women in sex education classes.

    Taught respect for women?! How about just plain ‘ol teaching respect for human beings? Even the 70 percent who were taught “respect for women” probably didn’t make the connection that WOMEN ARE HUMAN BEINGS. We’re not some special sub-class.

    Fer shit’s sake.

  13. Embee

    From the link above came this quote: “Educational programs were considered the least effective deterrent by both groups of men.” By both groups she references sex buyers and non-sex buyers.

    In other words: they KNOW the harm they are doing but they don’t care. The most effective deterrent was shaming.

    Men hate you, but they don’t want anyone to know it.

  14. Kristine

    “Both sex buyers and non-sex buyers agreed that the most effective deterrent to buying sex would be to be placed on a registry of sex offenders.”

    (Gasp!) Do you mean to say that instead of treating PROSTITUTES like criminals, we should treat the men who BUY prostitutes like criminals?! No fucking way! That’s like saying it’s, like, a crime to rape people, or something!

  15. allhellsloose

    Sorry but I thought I’d share a comment from the Newsweek article.

    “cleaning the toilets of rich people is very degrading for women,and moral supremacists want to punish sex workers by forcing them to clean toilets as moral supremacists enjoy making sex workers feel worthless” – now listen dood, really, I’m not fooled, this isn’t empathy.

    Scandinavian countries have been ‘shaming and blaming’ the johns for a few years now.

  16. tinfoil hattie

    I always knew you feminists hated men.

  17. emilywk

    “Sex buyers often commented that they liked the power relationship intrinsic to prostitution.”

    No, no. Sex buyers are just loser dudes who can’t get laid because uppity bitches demand that they respect them. That’s who buys sex!

    Gag.

  18. Heather

    Why aren’t the johns entered on the sex offender registry? I can’t believe I’ve never considered this question before but now that it’s been raised that’s a really excellent point.

  19. amrit

    “For example, significantly fewer sex buyers, 47 percent against 70 percent, reported that they were taught about respect for women in sex education classes.”

    Because they never heard a word about it anywhere else?

    The only thing I recall about sex education class was the creeping sense of dread I felt about my future listening to the teacher drone on about the miracle of birth.

  20. yttik

    “..moral supremacists want to punish sex workers by forcing them to clean toilets”

    So rather than cleaning toilets, we’re going to let you BE the toilet and call it a promotion? Wow.

    There’s no moral supremacy about it. When you’re a member of the sex class, walking around in constant state as commodity, why not figure out how to profit from it? A lot of women live in state of unpaid prostitution anyway. It’s not such a leap to imagine charging for what is already being stolen. It wouldn’t be a bad gig if you weren’t constantly being dehumanized and facing the risk of death, dismemberment, disease. The only immorality involved here is the fact that the patriarchy has convinced some woman that full human status or even partial status is not attainable, so she has had to adapt and make the best of it. Pretty sad and dangerous choice, but the immorality of the whole thing isn’t hers to carry.

    Speaking of toilet cleaning, the hotel maid that was raped is now suing the newspaper for saying she was prostitute. Apparently cleaning toilets and being a toilet really are the same thing.

  21. amrit

    Is it just me today or is all the news mental? If the prostitution quotes were not enough to send you over the edge, here’s a choice morsel from Huffington Post:

    “While some wail over the declining state of manhood implied by the statistics, there is also the very real possibility that men are evolving from swaggering through life in some cartoon interpretation of what men are supposed to be — to becoming more fully-formed human beings free to find out what they can be”

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/peggy-drexler/are-men-what-they-used-to_b_901590.html?ir=Women

    I had no idea men were so oppressed. Apparently, it is really women who are free to achieve themselves and live self-actualized lives, while men are mired forever in the burdensome role of wage earner and “protector” of women and children. This trope is so tired, I’m not even going to continue. I’m just going under my desk to scream “fuck”

    And then there’s the Rebekah Murdoch hair article in the Daily Beast. Just when you thought the hair faux-controversy was beaten to death, it emerges again as the most important aspect of this criminal investigation. Because, really, it is “ballsy” of Rebekah not to tame her outrageous and sexually provocative red hair in order to avoid inflaming the men who are investigating her.

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2011/07/20/rebekah-brooks-hair-distracts-at-murdoch-phone-hacking-scandal-hearing.html

    “There’s a time when a wild mane of wavy auburn hair sends just the right message of breezy nonconformity and proud individuality, but when you’re trying to convince the world that you’re an aboveboard, by-the-rules, straitlaced sort of manager—who’s done nothing illegal—boho hair plays to your disadvantage.”

    I’ll have to remember to tell that to Hector at the barbershop.

  22. Saurs

    From what I can remember, kids only ever wanted to know — in my “sex” “education” “periods” (there are not enough ironic quotation marks to adequately convey my scorn) — whether boners actually had bones in them. You couldn’t breathe for all the boner talk. Boners boners boners. Little white middle-class heretofore utterly repressed and woefully ignorant puritans given an excuse and a forum to talk about boners. The freedom of it all.

  23. sam

    In Sweden the 1999 law criminalizing johns led to an unexpected increase in well-known criminals being apprehended. Arrested for abusing prostituted women, they are then prosecuted for all the crimes they’ve been accused of committing.

  24. Saralyn

    “Educational programs were considered the least effective deterrent by both groups of men.”

    This is so depressing. One would like to think that educating boys and men that ALL women are people would be a solution; knowlegde of the ubiquitous nature of misogyny in the Big P. makes it all the more understandable. Shaming the “Johns” is more effective a deterrent? Holy Santa Clause Shit! So yes, men know what they do is wrong, that it hurts women, that they shouldn’t do it and that the only way we can stop them is to slap them on the hand and yell “NO!” A little more hope was just lost by this naive young feminist…IBTP

  25. Jill

    “@Jill
    Please identify the study that is the source of the quotes in your post.”

    My source is the Reuters link found in the first sentence of the post. It cites the same study, conducted by Farley, to which you allude.

  26. gozzibopli

    Just because doods of both groups considered educational programs least effective in shaping their views doesn’t mean that, objectively speaking, educational programs didn’t shape their views. The question, “How effective do you consider educational programs to be?” is subjective. Doods who don’t buy prostituted women probably believe that they are naturally enlightened. Doods who buy prostituted women probably believe they would buy women no matter how much damn education they got on the topic. In other words, just because doods (or any subjects of a study)don’t think education works on them, doesn’t mean they’re right

  27. minervaK

    As soon as I saw this “story,” I rushed right over to IBTP, hoping that it would be here receiving the mocking it deserved. I’m gratified to see that Twisty is, as always, on the case.

  28. minervaK

    The most effective deterrent was shaming.

    Humans still have shame receptors because they’re valuable; they provide us with feedback about how what we’re doing is affecting those around us. No civilization is possible without them. Yet, in the “democratic” megatheocorporatocracy, everybody’s right to “do their own thing” must be protected at all costs. If you feel shame, it’s the OTHER PERSON’S FAULT, for “shaming” you. It has nothing to do with the antisocial and destructive thing you’re doing. Fatheads.

  29. janicen

    Men who pay to rape women are more likely to rape women? Who’da thunk?

  30. yttik

    “The most effective deterrent was shaming.”

    The patriarchy has a good thing going on. Men do something wrong and women carry all the shame for them. Anything that helps put the responsibility/shame/blame back on the one doing the deed is a step towards behavior modification.

  31. Judi

    Sadly, men have to be “taught about respect for women in sex education classes” like they have to be taught about logarithms in math class: because it’s a novel, complex and esoteric idea that few of them would be able to conceptualize on their own.

  32. Rididill

    “Sex buyers often commented that they liked the power relationship intrinsic to prostitution.”

    No, no. Sex buyers are just loser dudes who can’t get laid because uppity bitches demand that they respect them. That’s who buys sex!

    Gag.

    Are you aware these two propositions are actually the same thing? OK, so the latter not necessarily GETTING OFF on the power relation, but the entire point of it is changing the power relation. They can’t get self respecting women to fuck them so they find someone desperate they can economically coerce into it.

    Even if the numbers are dodgy, read the full study and some of the statements from the sex buyers. they basically admit that they do it so they can treat her like an object, not a human.

  33. Mary Tracy

    Thank you for covering this new study. I found out about it, but was afraid to read further in case it made me pull my own hair out in rage.

    Also, congrats to all the commenters for keeping up with the “no shit sherlock” “who woulda thunk it” mood of the post. Lots of humourous comments here, which really helps dealing with this “non-news”.

  34. Mary Tracy

    Oh, one more thing. Melissa Farley has carried out many studies of this kind. Does anyone know why this particular one got picked up by the media?

  35. Someone Else

    Men who pay for sex are more likely than non-buyers to commit a variety of offenses, including violent crimes against women

    So another way to say that would be, “People who commit crimes are likely to commit crimes”. The “pay for sex” construct is in there to get us to forget that “paying for sex” is, itself, a crime.

    Any study that starts with a subset of 100% self-identified criminals seems pretty likely to “discover” that they are not exactly troubled by the notion of engaging in some other forms of criminal activity.

    None of this reflects poorly on the ACTUAL study (which I am too lazy to review), of course — I’m just amused by the wording of the For-Mass-Consumption article. Pretty clear the writer doesn’t think paying for sex is a “real” crime.

  36. yttik

    Apparently Farley’s team had so much trouble trying to locate men for their control group of “non-buyers” that they had to change the criteria.

    “We had big, big trouble finding nonusers,” Farley says. “We finally had to settle on a definition of non-sex-buyers as men who have not been to a strip club more than two times in the past year, have not purchased a lap dance, have not used pornography more than one time in the last month, and have not purchased phone sex or the services of a sex worker, escort, erotic masseuse, or prostitute.”

    -Newsweek

  37. damequixote

    Through the years the vaguely researched articles that describe prostitutes as “empowered” and just “sex workers” (like auto workers, benefits and all) have always struck me as wishful thinking by the (mostly men) who write them. Who hasn’t seen the Hollywood versions of hooker life and been beguiled by the pleasantness of it all? That is, if one can stand being that close to a dude in the first place. Which I can’t. But I digress.

    After years of police work in a large urban city I came to see all that essentially libertarian notion as the bullpucky fairytale that it is. In fact, Sleeping Beauty is more likely to happen than Pretty Woman. Dwarves. Roofies. It could happen.

    I can’t tell you how many of these “empowered” women I have found dead or come to work only to hear someone else found another one. Beaten. Stabbed. Hateful obscenities carved into their skin. Brutalized beyond what any of you need to hear. Most tortured to death in ways that would bring charges from the Court at the Hague. Oddly, they don’t often bring charges from the Courts in the US as so many of the murderers (I’m sorry, “CUSTOMERS”) walk free. Per the usual, the hooker was a liar, a frequent flyer of the justice system. A crack whore. In other words, she can’t be raped. Or murdered. But I guess that’s the free market.

    Every dead hooker’s body is proof it’s not a victimless crime. Most are killed in or around the act of sex with sadists the system really only sees as a customer and essentially a tax absconder. The department I was on tried very hard to identify and track these men before they acted but it seemed only the female officers really did anything. Things often fell apart when good information collided with a male investigator.

  38. lawbitch

    Follows the Fuck Toilet theme nicely. If men look at prostitutes in this way, why should the way that they look at their girlfriends or wives be any different?

  39. TwissB

    If anyone is inclined to think that the Farley study merely states the obvious,they should probably take a look at the comments on it at Newsweek. Every john-serving lie about prostituted women is there, along with wholesale misrepresentation of feminist positions on the subject and the breakthrough “Nordic model” laws that view prostitution as violence against women and criminalize johns and pimps while offering rehabilitative services for victims (a term that enrages pro-prostitution lobbyists). Sex buyers is not an expression I would use, but I’m guessing that, if the subject is going to have to be referred to repeatedly, a short, easily understood term may have to be chosen, despite its disabilities. There may also have been a need to use a general term applicable to many common forms of commercial sexual exploitation besides what people think of as prostitution. The best place to look to for answers to questions about the study is the thing itself – there is a link to it at the bottom of the short summary at http://www.prostitutionresearch.com/c-prostitution-men-who-buy-sex.html

    Apologies to Jill for overlooking her link to the Reuter’s report.

  40. Trude

    Re the statements of shaming being the only effective deterrent, the same thing was found in a recent British study done by Eaves http://www.eaves4women.co.uk/Documents/Recent_Reports/MenWhoBuySex.pdf

    Julie Bindel presented the Eaves study at the Grosse Freiheit anti-prostitution conference in Copenhagen, Denmark in May, you can watch her presentation here (along with several other great presentations) http://www.grossefreiheit.dk/9531/

    Basically they found that the johns know full well that the women they abuse in prostitution are hurting, they just don’t give a s***.

  41. MariaS

    I don’t see how the numbers can be off. The study is about the beliefs, attitudes and experiences of 201 participating men from Boston, gleaned through interviews and questionnaires. Numbers within the study are drawn from the responses of those men and so are representative of those men. Also, it’s not only about numbers, but about presenting the men’s own beliefs, experiences and rationale for what they do and why they continue to do it, and what would be the most effective deterrent to them. Farley has done the same study in Scotland and in England, each with around 100 men, and apparently also in Chicago, Indonesia and

    @ Mary Tracy – it may be that this study is getting more attention because it is the first of these studies that has used a control group of non sex buyers, so Farley and her colleagues are able to draw conclusions from comparing the two groups, so are easier for the media to popularise as “this group is more x,y,z than that group” – as opposed to nuanced feminist perspectives on patriarchy/gender inequality being a massive explanation for why men buy sex, and on the continuum of oppression and violence against women. To Newsweek, it’s astonishing new news that misogynist beliefs enable and drive the sex industry; to feminists, not really. Also the questions about porn, and, I think, about sex education, are new.

    The statistic that Echidne questions is from the Newsweek article, which claims that the average age of death for a woman in prostitution is 34. In the comment thread at Echidne’s, a study that the number was likely to have been incorrectly derived from is linked to (it was the average age of the women who died, not of all women in the study). That study is listed in the references used by Farley’s study, but Farley’s study doesn’t actually mention this age of death at all.

  42. Tigs

    I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again. Consent is the wrong paradigm– you can’t have equality when one person is the subject and the other is the object.

    Only when women are recognized (in the Hegelian sense) as human beings can there be meaningful, non-dominating relations.

    Locke was a colonizing ass.

  43. K.A.

    It’s interesting that the rapists maintain the mother-whore dichotomy when consumerism is involved. But make no mistake about it — all women are viewed as different kinds of whores within a whore-caste system: the main castes are prostitutes and wives. But the caste system looks something like this: low-rent prostitutes, high-end escorts, then mistress girlfriends, then mother/wives, then trophy wives. Wives are higher caste whores, but whores nonetheless.

    Prostitution/pornography and marriage/motherhood are potent motivations for anti-liberalism — not merely anti-feminism — and the government’s antisocial policies. Keeping women disproportionately marginalized — economically and politically — ensures women remain available for rape, vicarious rape, wifery, and motherhood. They lack that which offers them relative autonomy to buffer them from exploitation, AKA, being bought by men one way or another (wifery is the best deal women can make, so that’s what they strive for). More women rely on them for economic and social survival in the face of poverty and disenfranchisement.

    Anti-liberal policies in general keep women exploitable. However, liberal men want this result for women just as much as conservative men do, since they gain just as much from women’s relative desperation, hence all of their gob-smacking hipocrisy.

  44. K.A.

    Every government, as far as I can tell, exists to undermine women of “female choice.” Stuff that in your bowl and smoke it, ev-psychists. Ev-psych actually proves what feminists have been deconstructing for years.

  45. minervaK

    I am going to go blame-nuke the comment feed on the Newsweek site for this “story:”

    http://www.newsweek.com/2011/07/17/the-growing-demand-for-prostitution.html

    I invite everybody to join me. Yeah, maybe we’ll be lone voices crying in the wilderness, but fuck.

  46. Fictional Queen

    @ K.A.
    There’s one thing every man agrees with no matter what and that is misogyny!

  47. Ottawa Gardener

    Just heard on Canadian public radio this ‘touching’ piece on sex workers that service disabled people. Don’t get me wrong, I want disabled people to live a full life and understand that the sex workers feel they are providing a valuable service but there is something disturbing about this framing of one disenfranchized group with another as if it somehow negates the double problem of exclusion on one hand and explotation on the other.

  48. Patricia Hot Sauce

    Long-time lurker, first-time commenter. I made the mistake of reading the comments on the Newsweek article and now I’m having a hard time keeping myself from screaming uncontrollably.

    Thank you to Twisty and all of you for creating the one place I can turn to and know that I’m not alone in my rage.

  49. TwissB

    @K.A. “Every government, as far as I can tell, exists to undermine women of “female choice.”
    You could say the same about religion.

    minervaK – If you can figure out how to circumvent the Newsweek requirement that you submit a Twitter, Facebook, or whatever account address in order to comment on a Newweek article, please post the secret here.

    dameQuixote and Maria S. I appreciate your thoughtful comments.

  50. Jessie

    That’s definitely one for the journal “Duh!”

    Holy shit though: a bunch of the pro-prostitution comments with the article on the Newsweek site make me want to vomit blood. Here we have a story about human trafficking and a bunch of assholes are whining about the poor men! Oh no, the poor men are being called out on their reprehensible behaviour by the mean feminists! Whatever shall we do!?

    For fuck’s sake. These whiny assholes can go fuck themselves. Where do these assholes get the idea that feminists want to punish sex workers anyway? Fuck no, I would like to punish the misogynists who think it’s just fine to coerce women into sex.

    As for the idea that totally legalizing prostitution will get rid of all the bad stuff associated with it? Nope. One legal “massage parlour” in my city was found to be enslaving three immigrant women. These places often recruit and enslave women who don’t have very good English so they cannot call the cops or find help in any way.

    Guess what the ultimate punishment was for the owners of that place? It was pleaded down to just two years probation. No really, just two years probation for enslaving three people! I wish I was making that up.

    The reason that prostitution will always be associated with coercion is that the men who buy sex often specifically want to degrade someone. It’s a sick consequence of the fact that women in human societies are typically viewed as being lesser ‘sex’ objects.

  51. Laurie

    Minerva, Those comments do say it all. Anyone skeptical of the rad-fem view need only browse them and realize that yes, they really DO hate us. All of them, to a man — and the sex-worker women standing up for their right to be oppressed — are all het up about the “man-haters” rather than the fact that women and CHILDREN are being tormented. Oh, wait — DOH, that’s what dudes like.

    So sickening I had to stop reading.

    As an antidote, I submit a bit of good news about young (and older) women keeping up the fight: It’s Self-Help History Day here at NorCal’s Women’s Health Specialists, where my daughter works. Free speculums, feminist history and cervix self-exams for all, so if you’re around, stop by: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Womens-Health-Specialists-Feminist-Womens-Health-Centers-of-California/164249220091

  52. K.A.

    there is something disturbing about this framing of one disenfranchized group with another as if it somehow negates the double problem of exclusion on one hand and explotation on the other.

    Exactly. People outside and even inside feminism will always find a way to say, “shut up, bitches! Some man has it worse!” What can be worse than that — amiright? — a man who has it “worse” than being born as a living sex receptacle? Thank heaven for little girls, indeed! What a privilege femaleness affords us. Even our points of view are universally dismissed when they can’t be entirely invisibilized, as they did in the radio piece. There must be some law based on such a linear correlation: as proximity to femaleness increases, the ability to hear someone decreases. Can’t-wins Law. I don’t know.

  53. blondie

    Given that many prostitutes are well below the age of majority (18), why are they being criminally charged with prostitution, rather than their johns being charged with statutory rape?

    If they’re too young to consent to unpaid-for sex, how can they consent just because they are paid?

    Yet, I don’t think I’ve ever heard of a case where the john with an underage prostitute has been charged with statutory rape. That’d certainly get him on the sex offenders list.

  54. K.A.

    Whoops, re: my impending post that is currently in moderation: I originally was going to put “dismissiveness increases.” But I didn’t. So it’s more accurately described as an inverse linear correlation. Not that it matters, really….

  55. Jezebella

    TwissB, my solution is to have an alternate yahoo account, entirely lacking any true information about myself, that I use for any such potentially privacy-compromising registrations.

  56. ashley

    I guess the part that really did affect me and wasn’t bullshit-as-usual, is how incredibly effective it is to teach just a few things about respect for women.

    This always strikes me when looking at men who have been raised by women who made a particular effort to instill respect for females in them. Their behavior is always different from the like 95 percent of idiots who were raised by one sexist, and so they act like one more sexist. Men who are taught actual respect for women at an early age behave differently. for me this proves how much conditioning it takes to make men the assholes they are. literally- you need a global system functioning full time, and even so, one little sex education class can change someone that much? Christ, considering all the other brainwash they’re getting everywhere else, to me that signifies that human nature, even male nature, is not abusive at heart.

    patriarchy is unnatural and honestly it would die if it wasn’t invested in full time. I don’t think anyone really wants it. I think men hate themselves for it as much as we resent them for it. deep down, obviously, but think about it. one little sex ed class can change a man’s behavior that much? that’s incredible.

  57. minervaK

    Hm, I didn’t really think about personal safety in terms of posting under my real name… except, my real name isn’t really my real name, it’s the name I write under. I wonder if the bozos over there will even remember what it was, if I ever publish anything. I doubt they’d want to read anything I write, in any case. Nobody’s every had the patience or the guts to stalk me — I imagine it gets really boring when the victim has nothing to lose, and has absolutely no qualms about breaking the law to protect herself.

    You can set up a yahoo or twitter account without revealing any personally identifiable information — I have several that I use when I want to get into a spammy website that requires me to register.

  58. Gayle

    If you’re concerned about posting as yourself with all those cretins on the Newsweek thread, I suggest you write a letter to Newsweek and submit it through the US Postal Service.

    It’s far more effective than a post, anyway.

  59. Iris Vander Pluym

    I came across this today:

    Johnson, E. M., The Science of Sexism: Primate Behavior and the Culture of Sexual Coercion. Scientific American (Jul. 20, 2011)

    It haunted me as I read this post and the comments here. It reports on some astonishing research, and one point it makes (among many):

    But the uncomfortable implication is just what feminist scholars have been arguing all along: the patriarchy is real and it will require committed focus to reduce or eradicate sexual coercion in modern societies.

    Damn right it’s real. And I blame it.

  60. Unree

    @MariaS–you are right that I mistakenly conflated the “death at age 34″ statistic, which Farley did not mention, with the Farley numbers. I have access to all kinds of databases yet could not find the Death at 34 paper anywhere. Irksome.

    That said, Echidne raised questions about the Farley study in general. I’ll paste from her blog:

    “I also wanted to get more percentages and more numbers in general. As an example, what percentage of the users of prostitutes’ services declared themselves as misogynists? How were the questions here phrased?

    And how were the original samples found? This is very, very important, because the way the samples were created affects the likelihood that they are representative of all men.”

  61. ashley

    Iris, it is so weird to read that. It’s almost as if men are really that fucking stupid and they have to do a study on THEMSELVES to figure out what they’re actually doing, because common sense is so abstract to them.

    WTF IBTP.

  62. minervaK

    Ugh, I can’t take the comment thread on that Newsweek story any more. It’s like an endless game of whack-an-mole, with idiots instead of moles. Every time I try something like this, I celebrate again my decision to live as separately from this cesspool of a culture as I can.

  63. MariaS

    @ Unree – I’m not sure (from reading it) that the study would have directly asked the participants if they identified as misogynists. I doubt that it would be a useful question to ask anyway since people often strongly reject being characterised as sexist/racist/etc, (and then argue that because they are not *-ist, it’s aok for them to be doing/saying the *-ist thing in question).

    Instead it seems to me that the study tests for a range of attitudes and beliefs (about women and sex) that can be characterised as misogynist. Not sure if the study even uses that term much, or whether it’s cropping up more in feminist discussion of the study, as a term that feminists use to refer to a diverse collection of social attitudes, beliefs and behaviours. (By which I mean that among other feminists we can usually refer to misogyny in discussion without controversy, but among non-feminists a derail about they or the person under discussion doesn’t hate women, and how dare you slur them by describing them as misogynist, is highly predictable)

    The research consisted of self-administered questionnaires, and long interviews. It seems likely that some of the questions were such that produced answers that could be straightforwardly grouped and quantified as (and are in fact presented as) percentages: example might be, how old where you when you first paid for sex? Do you think prostitution should be legalised/decriminalised? Other questions seem to have invited participants to select from a range of options, and so answers to those could be quantified. But other questions would have been more open, giving the interviewee the opportunity to talk as much or as little around the topic of the question as they liked, and so it would not be easy or necessarily useful to quantify the answers.

    Moreover for the study to produce a percentage of how many participants were misogynist, the researchers would have had to decide on a way to measure misogyny; something like, I imagine, by deciding that the participants who scored so much on this questionnaire about hostile masculinity, and so much on that questionnaire about sexual coercion, and answered particular interview questions in such a way, and so on – and so you would be able to work out how many of the participants fit the decided criteria for misogyny, and see if more of them were in the sex-buying group than in the non-sex-buying group.

    However, the study doesn’t do that, and to do so wouldn’t be terribly useful for them – because misogyny is not an easily quantifiable or limited thing. What it does is compare the two groups on men in the study on a range of things, see where there is a significant difference, and draw conclusions in order to make suggestions about what could be effective interventions with men who use women in prostitution (with the aim of ending prostitution). By the way the final appendix to the report is interesting reading, comparing a more feminist-informed and more intensive “john school” programme, with a one less so. Guess which was more effective. Guess which was defunded.

    I’m thinking this all out, still very incompletely, as I write, hence the rambling. Short version: I don’t see the study as being about quantifying misogyny. Also, much internet feminist time and frustration could have been avoided if the researchers had appended the questionnaires, interview questions/structure, and information provided to participants, to the study.

  64. Jill

    Also, much internet feminist time and frustration could have been avoided if[...]

    Yeah, it’s almost as if nobody cares about the Internet feminists.

  65. Iris Vander Pluym

    ashley, I took hope from this part:

    To illustrate how powerful the influence of culture can be for primate societies consider the most extreme example of a sexually coercive species: savanna baboons. Male baboons have been known to viciously maul a female that has rejected their advances and the level of male aggression is strongly correlated with their mating success. However, in a unique natural experiment Stanford primatologist Robert Sapolsky observed what developed when the largest and most aggressive males died out in a group known as Forest Troop (because they were feeding at the contaminated dump site of a Western safari lodge). In the intervening years Forest Group developed a culture in which kindness was rewarded more than aggression and adolescent males who migrated into the troop adopted this culture themselves.

    Sapolsky said this:

    Forest Troop’s low aggression/high affiliation society constitutes nothing less than a multigenerational benign culture.

    For this “multigenerational benign culture” to emerge, of course, all of the largest and most aggressive male baboons in the troop had to go. Just sayin’.

    *whistles*

  66. redpeachmoon

    Also from this article @ Johnson, E. M., The Science of Sexism: Primate Behavior and the Culture of Sexual Coercion. Scientific American (Jul. 20, 2011)

    “These nonhuman primate examples suggest that an increased focus on women’s rights might not only reduce the current levels of sexual coercion but could benefit society as a whole. If women have increased social power (both politically and economically) they would be better able to resist male sexual coercion due to stronger networks of social support. At the same time this increased social power would be expected to help create a change in male culture that would influence how young men interact with women when trying to gain sexual access.”

  67. dillene

    Ne nos inducas in tentationem, Iris.

  68. sjaustin

    I’m not sure (from reading it) that the study would have directly asked the participants if they identified as misogynists. I doubt that it would be a useful question to ask anyway since people often strongly reject being characterised as sexist/racist/etc, (and then argue that because they are not *-ist, it’s aok for them to be doing/saying the *-ist thing in question).

    But it sure would be interesting to know how many of them would respond to the question with “I’m not a misogynist; I love women!”

  69. Kristin

    A link between violence and misogyny? Well, I’ll go to the bottom of our garden!
    Thank you, Auntie Jill.

  70. Sarah

    sjaustin, I’m betting a whole lottathem! It’s amazing how many people conflate hatred-of-women with love-of-women. You can hear them say things like, “Tom Robbins/Philip Roth/insert-self-congratulatory-male-author/director/famous dood-here doesn’t hate women, on the contrary he is completely fascinated by the female enigma!”

  71. yttik

    This from the study Iris posted was lovely:

    “A unique aspect of bonobo society is that they are a female-dominated species thanks to the network of support that exists between bonobo females. Chimpanzee females are largely isolated from one another, but bonobo females come to one another’s aid. While there may be genetic differences that account for the lack of sexual coercion in bonobos, one important factor is the different environment that promotes these cooperative networks and limits the usefulness of male coercion.”

    That is why solidarity and sisterhood is such an important key to taking down the patriarchy. Human women are more like those Chimpanzee females, pretty much isolated and forced to fling poo at each other. Male coercion can only work when females are isolated from one another.

  72. Iris Vander Pluym

    Mea máxima culpa, dillene.

  73. Lovepug

    Hey, in almost good news the knobs at the California milk board stopped their stupid ads about poor, henpecked men who suffer from their partners’ PMS (I don’t recommend reading the comments).

    http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2011/07/22/138600837/calif-milk-board-dumps-controversial-pms-campaign

  74. humanbein

    Any human who identifies as male and enjoys masculinity is a misogynist to me. Masculinity is misogyny, if you strip out all the characteristics that are actually shared human virtues practiced by both sexes. Just ask any member of the he-man woman haters club.

  75. sjaustin

    Sarah, that’s exactly it. “I love women! They’re such fascinating [non-human] creatures! And you can put your penis in them! Sometimes they’ll even cook for you and clean up after you! SO AWESOME!”

  76. amrit

    Just when you think you’ve had all you can take in one week, when you think it’s finally Friday and you can retire to bed to read Trollope and hide until Monday, the roiling internet cesspool disgorges another piece of pornolicious propaganda:

    http://jezebel.com/5823933/pornography-for-the-greater-good

    “Is pornography helpful?
    These are the issues raised by Melinda Wenner Moyer in a Scientific American piece called “The Sunny Side Of Smut.” She writes:
    The most common concern about pornography is that it indirectly hurts women by encouraging sexism, raising sexual expectations and thereby harming relationships. Some people worry that it might even incite violence against women. The data, however, do not support these claims. “There’s absolutely no evidence that pornography does anything negative,” says Milton Diamond, director of the Pacific Center for Sex and Society at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. “It’s a moral issue, not a factual issue.”

  77. Gayle

    “. . . Milton Diamond, director of the Pacific Center for Sex and Society at the University of Hawaii at Manoa.”

    If Milton says it, it has to be true!

  78. Kristin

    I wonder if the mass-murdering bastard on the real life Savage Death Island in Norway is also a porny misogynist?

  79. redpeachmoon

    @ humanbein: that’s it! Identification/celebration of masculinity IS misogyny. You hit it out of the park for me.
    And changed the conversation forever.

  80. amrit

    @ Gayle: Milton is a complete freak show in his own right, combining every seventies-misogynistic-free-love-porno trope with his pseudo scientific rhetoric. Several years ago, when I needed an expert witness to prevent genital surgery on an infant with ‘ambiguous’ genitalia, Milton was my go-to hired gun. But, he was freaky, seventies freaky, if you know what I mean. No surprise that he is in the pockets of the porn/industrial machine.

  81. Fictional Queen

    Iris,
    so if the majority of men dropped dead,that’d take care of the patriarchy?
    Sounds good to me!
    It would also fix the problem of overpopulation.

  82. Satchel

    @Kristin

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anders_Behring_Breivik

  83. laxsoppa

    Kristin, isn’t it part and parcel of the right-wing nutcase condition?

    Really, what sickens me about the press surrounding the massace and the bombing was how quickly prominent people, including some Finnish MPs, were ready to attribute the attacks to islamists before anyone had any real information on who actually did it. I blame the K.

  84. MariaS

    “The most common concern about pornography is that it indirectly hurts women by encouraging sexism, raising sexual expectations and thereby harming relationships. Some people worry that it might even incite violence against women. The data, however, do not support these claims.”

    In a way the question of whether or not there is a direct causal link between porn and sexism or porn and sexual violence is irrelevant. Porn IS sexist, porn sometimes IS violence. Porn EXPRESSES sexism, it often EXPRESSES violence. It’s problematic in and of itself. Moreover, porn and sexual violence are manifestations of the same thing: a person’s sense of entitlement to sexually use another person. Of course, that’s overwhelmingly straight men’s sense of entitlement to sexually use women.

    Here’s a similarly infuriating article: It Shouldn’t Be a Dirty Little Secret: A Feminist Makes a Case for Porn

    h ttp://goodmenproject.com/featured-content/the-dirtiest-little-secret-of-all-making-a-case-for-porn/

    Where to start? Characterising pro-porn as “pro-sex”, talking about porn as the consumer’s “fantasy” (sidelining the real people having real things really happening to them), extolling how creative and radical the queer porn she studies is, in utter denial about how insignificant a barnacle it is on the side of the monster serve-women-up-to-straight-men porn industry (which she minimises with “I don’t disagree that much of what is found online is repetitive trite” – either she’s missed out “and” or means “tripe” not “trite”).

    “If Michel Foucault is to be believed… other cultures saw erotica as opening up much-needed discussion about mutuality – one’s likes and dislikes in the bedroom – and desire. Images provoked erotic play and negotiation, allowing, in an ideal sense, for an ethical and complimentary exploration of sexual wants and needs. Explicit images provided truths about our sexual selves.

    Sometime in the 19th century this changed. Suddenly, explicit images became evidence of the contagion within.”

    No patriarchy before the 19th century then? Which “other cultures”? So much of this makes no sense. She talks about sexually explicit Roman frescoes at Pompeii as being equivalent to the porn industry today.

    She concludes:

    “For better or worse, the erotic arts are a source into our selves, giving us a clearer picture of what makes us tick, what we like and dislike, tolerate and abhor. Still, the question remains: can pornography take us to a more ethical, equitable place of intimacy, bonding, pleasure, and exchange? I think the dirtiest little secret of all is, it could.”

    This crap that porn has some kind universal and fundamental insights to offer everyone if only they’d let it, is expressed throughout. As if no one ever understood themselves sexually without the help of porn.

  85. No Sugarcoating

    Yikes, Maria. That article is a load of tripe.

  86. humanbein

    Porn creates in men fetishistic desires, that, once embraced, can never be erased. We are incapable of even imagining a sexual life that hasn’t been contaminated by porn-centric inventions, such as the idea that women respond sexually to being raped, for example, or that a woman can find sexual bliss through any number of physically impossible methods, like anal sex. All defenses of porn can be reduced to only one pathetic argument: If somebody gets off on it, it’s OK.

    We’re in a strange new porn-centric world that has been growing ferociously since the dawn of the internet, and the VHS tape before it. We are seeing a huge and terrible change in human consciousness happening in our lifetimes, and nobody is even allowed to question it.

  87. tinfoil hattie

    The most common concern about pornography is that it indirectly hurts women

    What the HELL is “indirect” about it?

  88. tinfoil hattie

    If somebody gets off on it, it’s OK.

    I’d amend that to read: “If MEN get off on it, it’s OK.”

  89. random_anomaly

    In regard to the Pretty Woman scenario, even if it did happen occasionally, she would just be moving from one form of oppression (prostitution) to another (“trophy wife”). I’m not saying that those situations are equal, but it’s hardly a happy ending.

  90. Metal Teapot

    Why is this always framed as a woman’s rights issue? It is always about a woman’s right to be a prostitue, as though it is what they want oh so much, and those poor men just go to prostitutes to keep these poor women in employment. It allows people to ignore nearly all the main moral issues. Just because some of the women who enter prostitution choose the job doesn’t make it morally right. There are lots of jobs people might choose to do that are immoral.

  91. minervaK

    So that Newsweek site isn’t publishing my comments. Interesting. I wonder how many other anti-prostitution comments are being culled out.

  92. angie

    But, but, but . . .what about all that mansplaining about porn and prostitutes being an outlet for these sicko guys & their perverted fantasies that actually worked to our benefit because without that they’d be attacking us instead? Was that all lies?!?! {rolls eyes}

  93. damequixote

    Right on, Angie. If they really believed that porn saves women from attack, kiddy porn would be widely available to stop the predators from attacking kids since it would “relieve the pressure”. Yet it remains a massive felony, and not just to protect a poor child in a picture but future victims as well as the pictures, videos, etc feed the desire but then grow boring. Soon they want the real thing. It’s the law of diminishing returns. O but that doesn’t happen with men in reference to grown women, does it?

    Ps. Note; while watching fabulous videos on youtube of our women’s soccer team and their fun hotel room antics (I was SO born too soon) and all their hanging out together, it is important NOT to read too many of the comments. One said it looked like fun but didn’t they ever need a man?

    Merciful. Minerva.

  94. Jessie

    Kristin: it turns out he’s a raging misogynist. His manifesto has been posted online and he names feminism as one of the big ills of Western society. Islam and Marxism are the other two he names.

  95. Triste

    One of the things that does bother me about discussing prostitution is that oftentimes everybody arguing is sort of on a different page insofar as the scope of the debate. There are some people who I think want to debate prostitution as an abstraction, as boiled down to the most basic idea of one person having sex with another person in exchange for money. Surely on the planet Obstreperon birth control (and emergency abortions) would be available cheap and judgment-free to any and all women, condom use would be a given, and sex, rather than a vehicle of domination and conquest would be merely a less fun version of the butt-dance! On this magical planet in which there is no Patriarchy, perhaps paying a person for sex would be no more inherently offensive than paying someone to teach you how to butt-dance.

    Of course, this argument should in no way act as salve for the wounded consciences of johns here on /Earth/, who are engaging in Earth Prostitution. On Earth, birth control and abortions are not always easy to get, and condoms not always used in such transactions. Women in prostitution are often (not always, but yes, often) doing so as a last resort, whether to feed drug habits for which there is no help offered or to make money in desperate times – and of course johns don’t generally give two shits whether the woman they’re paying to prong is in it willingly or because her pimp holds a gun to her head. Many prostitutes are of course underage.

    On Earth, the consequences for having sex while female are not only physical (the risk of pregnancy and STDs) but also social – they are subject to potential arrest. They will find it hard to get jobs later in life, especially if they have appeared in porn. They will be disrespected by men and patriarchy-compliant women alike (and even some radfems that I’ve seen, although I like to think most of us feel compassion and understanding rather than disgust for women in this life). They will likely be degraded by their customers, physically abused. They are at a higher risk to be murdered. Social programs meant to help those in need will often turn down known or suspected prostitutes. The police will offer them little protection and may even hurt them.

    Johns here on Planet Earth contribute to this disgusting state of affairs with every fuck. As much as they’d like to change the subject to theoretical yarns, they are contributing. To rape, child abuse, poverty, and the Patriarchal Way.

  96. Milly

    @ Triste. As long as we’re dreaming, I would hope that if any sex were to be had on the magnificent planet Obstreperon, it would be equally desired by both parties and therefore no inducement (coercion) would be necessary. Likewise, butt dance lessons. Surely Obstreperopia wouldn’t be a capitalist society! Meanwhile here on Earth, to add to the rest of your argument, we could do with less commodification of human relationships rather than more, couldn’t we?

  97. laxsoppa

    Jessie – “His manifesto has been posted online and he names feminism as one of the big ills of Western society. Islam and Marxism are the other two he names.”

    And that’s not all – now a large Finnish newspaper is waxing on how he was so embittered and full of hate because he probably didn’t get laid enough or never had the loving touch of a girlfriend personal fuck toilet readily available. At the end of the column the writer encourages all ladies to extend a helping hand or vagina to the shy dudes so they wouldn’t go on killing sprees, essentially using the same rhetoric that other shy or otherwise inept dudes in this country are using to justify their demands for state-paid brothels and compulsory sex work for all young and/or fuckable women.

    I knew it wouldn’t take long for someone to point the accusing finger on women for the actions of this human stain, but I would never have guessed it would happen so soon when people are still in shock and counting the bodies. Misogyny has no respect for human tragedy, either that of the victims of the massacre or that of the disenfranchised prostitutes.

  98. Iris Vander Pluym

    From forbes.com

    The last 100 pages [of the manifesto] apparently lay out details of the [Breivik's] social and personal life, including steroid use and an intention to solicit prostitutes in the days before the attack.

    What a surprise.

  99. GMM

    @laxsoppa
    The very day of the 9/11/01 terrorist attacks Susan Faludi got a call from a journalist who gleefully told her, “Well, this sure pushes feminism off the map!”

    Patriarchy NOT Matriarchy is one of the “works to implement” in Breivik’s video manifesto .

  100. laxsoppa

    GMM, dude sure is deluded – Norway, despite its level of progression, is still very much a patriarchal country.

  101. TwissB

    @Triste It almost seems that you are taking prostitution to be a response to men’s sexual needs which demand satisfaction. But nothing but men’s demand for an experience that unites sexual satisfaction with reassuring subordination of the certified degraded female object can explain all of the accompanying harms that you mention, as well as the pornogrifying speech and visual representation. Since men can perfectly well sexually satisfy themselves, I conclude that subordination is the compelling reason for the prostitution ritual. There’s no way that paying is really relevant here.

  102. Kelly

    The study is reflective of the culture, not the sex industry itself.

    I work in pornography. I am university educated and it is my choice – yes, as a woman – to work in that field. I like it. I enjoy it. It’s my chosen profession. I am not exploited or vulnerable.

    Yes, there are horrific attitudes to women in our society that are reflected in the men who solicit paid sex, but causation does not equal correlation and to deduce that the sex industry is harmful just because it attracts misogynists as customers is dubious at best.

    A lot of misogynists like NASCAR, does that make NASCAR misogynistic?

  103. Triste

    @TwissB: Weeeeeeeeeell. At the risk of getting too far into stupid abstract shit, yes and no. If we’re talking about actual Earth prostitution, then yes, if you’re fucking a prostitute, it’s because you get off on degrading women. Period. People who are interested in sex sans degradation don’t buy prostitutes, because they are bright enough to realize that on Earth, to buy a prostitute is to degrade her. Mythical “benevolent johns” are nowhere to be found here on Earth – even dudes who don’t beat the shit out of their hookers are contributing to the business, and the business is fucking evil.

    On Obstreperon, wherein there is no Patriarchy and no degradation associated with sex, would there even be a demand for prostitution? If I am reading you correctly, you are suggesting that there would not be, since, as you said, people can satisfy themselves sexually. Yes?

    It’s hard for me to say if this is true or not. I myself experience no real need for partner sex, and I see to my own physical desires as necessary. There are some people (of varying genders) who have related to me that they do feel a need for a partner in order for sex to be genuinely satisfying. Is this a need manufactured by the Patriarchy, or is it a real, legitimate desire? I don’t know. I do know that not knowing, I would feel unfair dismissing the experiences of people with such desires out of hand.

    So yeah, it’s possible that the good people of Obstreperon might figure out that masturbation is just way fucking easier than all that garbage anyway, which would be fine. If that drive for partner sex exists apart from the Patriarchy, however, there might still be a portion of the population with an interest in transactional sex. It obviously wouldn’t be a service necessary for life, but some people still might go for it, and there might be some professionals interested in providing sex services for such people. They would be professionals, probably. Like plumbers. Or maybe more like interior decorators. Sure, you could decorate your own pad, but maybe you like the look of a professionally-done place better.

    Anyway. I hope I’m not making anyone uncomfortable with this direction. All of this hypothetical shit isn’t in any way meant to exonerate Earth dudes who use prostitutes! I just have had some weird discussions on the subject lately and had a yen to wax hypothetical all over Twisty’s blog. Again with that shit! I can’t help myself, really.

    @Milly: I think that Obstreperon might be a transactional society on some level. I would certainly hope that it wasn’t a western-style capitalism, but depending on the population size the benevolent Obstreperonians (Obstreperans?) might practice a truly fair system of trade and commerce for the sake of coherency. You bring up a good point, though.

    Also, I hope all that shit I just said made sense because I’m too tired to read it over. Long shift today, eugh.

  104. Jill

    “I work in pornography. I am university educated and it is my choice – yes, as a woman – to work in that field. I like it. I enjoy it. It’s my chosen profession.”

    Well, heck, as long as you personally enjoy your chosen profession, that makes it all OK! By all accounts, Anders Breivik enjoyed his chosen profession as a “European hero,” too.

    to deduce that the sex industry is harmful just because it attracts misogynists as customers is dubious at best.

    My lobe is officially blown. The sex industry exists solely to capitalize on misogynist ideology. Misogyny is violence. So how can the sex industry be anything but harmful?

  105. Siff

    Jill, have you seen the thread about the swedish model on feministe? What’s your take on that?

  106. Anne

    There are some people (of varying genders) who have related to me that they do feel a need for a partner in order for sex to be genuinely satisfying. Is this a need manufactured by the Patriarchy, or is it a real, legitimate desire?

    Human connection and intimacy is a legitimate desire, but it’s a patriarchy-enforced delusion that renting out prostitutes or being mindlessly pronged does a damn thing to satisfy that desire.

  107. Anne

    ^That was in response to Triste, by the way.

  108. yttik

    Our designated role under patriarchy is to be a sperm receptacle. Some may “chose” to work in porn, some may “chose” motherhood, some may “chose” to have consensual PIV. None of these “choices” in any way alter our designated role as sperm receptacles, they are all just variations on the same theme. Nobody is bad for “chosing” their individual variation. More power to you if you’ve actually found some enjoyment in it. But at the end of the day, guess what? Women are still perceived as sperm receptacles.

    “A lot of misogynists like NASCAR, does that make NASCAR misogynistic?”

    No, not at all. I believe it’s really a mecca for radical feminism which is why the matriarchal mothership lands there every year and all these hairy legged lesbians take over the event.

    Seriously, have you been to NASCAR? Which part is empowering to women, the wet teeshirt contests? The bikinis, the being plied with alcohol until you’re unconscious? NASCAR babes, where the women are hotter then the engines? Where the girls go from 0 to sexy in seconds? Oh, I’m going to dip my stick in that engine!

    Sometimes they actually let the women race, but only after they’ve taken sexy photos of them to reassure everybody that women are just designated sperm receptacles that sometimes race cars.

  109. K.A.

    I smell a male troll all over “Kelly.”

  110. Anne

    More @ Triste
    If that drive for partner sex exists apart from the Patriarchy, however, there might still be a portion of the population with an interest in transactional sex.

    Is “transactional sex” the new euphemism for rentable meatsock? Because it’s a term I’m seeing with increased frequency from liberal dudes in their desperate flailing to make prostitution out to be like any other job. There’s no way somebody who genuinely wants to have sex with a required, the recipient of that money is only doing it for survival.

  111. Anne

    Oi I messed that up.

    There’s no way somebody who genuinely wants to have sex with a person would require payment for doing so. If money’s required, the recipient of that money is only doing it for survival.

  112. amrit

    @Kelly

    “A lot of misogynists like NASCAR, does that make NASCAR misogynistic?”

    No, Kelly, it just makes NASCAR revolting. Hope that helps.

    And lots of luck with your career in pornography! I hope your contribution to the unremitting degradation of women and children in your “industry” does not go unnoticed for long.

  113. Frumious B.

    Blamers will find many things to blame in this article on Salon.com by Tracy Clark-Flory. TCF is my favorite sex writer to love and hate. She occasionally knows how to blame, but she is also unabashedly pro-porn and pro-prostitution. This is one of her hatey articles, responding negatively to Melissa Farley’s work.

    http://www.salon.com/life/feature/2011/07/18/johns

    @Ottawa Gardener:
    I want everyone to live a full life, but the full life led by male disabled people who buy prostituted women results in a less than full life for the prostituted women in question. That is the problem with the “prostitutes provide sex for people who don’t get any in other ways!” People are not entitled to the use another another person’s body – not for incubation, not for spare parts, not for sex.

    @Unree:“I also wanted to get more percentages and more numbers in general. As an example, what percentage of the users of prostitutes’ services declared themselves as misogynists? How were the questions here phrased?”

    I’m reminded of David Lysak, who studies undetected rapists. He doesn’t ask “Have you ever raped anyone?” He asks “Have you ever used force to restrain somebody to have sex with them?” The first question would not reveal much useful data. The second question, though, oh, the second question! That’s where the money is. And that is why asking how many buyers of prostituted women declare themselves to be misogynists is a fucking red herring. It tells you nothing about whether those buyers really are misogynists.

    @MariaS: The “Good Men Project” is more like the “Nice Guy (TM)” project (google if you aren’t familiar with the Nice Guy (TM) phenomenon. it is similar to the Nigel phenomenon.)

    @Kelly: Right. B/c the sex industry exists totally independently of the culture, on a separate plane which is completely untainted by The Culture. Sugar, the sex industry is part of the culture. Both are misogynistic.

  114. mearl

    Some thoughts on the subject of prostitution/porn:

    1) Re – the article about sex workers who service disabled dudes: why is there a general agreement among misogynists that ALL men, no matter how anti-social, shy, socially or sexually inept, elderly, lonely, psychotic, or physically compromised, have this inalienable RIGHT to use women as fuck-toilets as long as they have a few bucks in their wallets? Seriously?

    2) Re – the argument that porn and strip clubs alleviate this UNSTOPPABLE tide of rapey male aggression that would otherwise be unleashed upon the female public at large: I haven’t noticed a decrease in rape stats since the advent of the internet. I have, however, noticed an increase in human trafficking worldwide, along with what appears to be a general sinister attitude of sexual expectation from mainstream hetero men; an expectation stated overtly or covertly that hetero women be shaved, hawt, and willing to try anal, faux-lesbianism, and BDSM for the pleasure of the men, whether we’re interested in any of that or not. The implication is that the men can and will get it elsewhere if we’re not interested in submitting to their porn-inspired whims. Turn the tables on ANY hetero dude (or better yet, an entire society of hetero dudes) and insist that he/they shave his/their entire body(ies), make out with other hetero dudes, and take it up the ass – while never relinquishing the power position – and see how far you get. I dare ya.

    3) Re – pro-porn and pro-sex-work arguments from the university-educated women who “choose” that profession and enjoy it: the majority of sex workers aren’t in the field by “choice;” the women who DO “choose” that job and “don’t experience exploitation or danger” are very consciously riding on the backs of the millions of women who suffer horribly at the hands of men, women who didn’t have a real choice. There’s a pyramid scheme in place in the world of sex work and there’s no two ways about it. I have a solid reference for that one but I need to find the book from whence it came.

    4) Finally, if everyone’s consenting and there’s no misogyny or power imbalance involved, why does money have to exchange hands? Why are there any legalities involved at all? Why aren’t men forthright and without shame about their use of women? Why do pimps even exist? Why is it mainly men who buy sex and women who sell it and not equal, or the other way around?

    One of the main reasons cited by male users of porn/sex workers, when questioned as to why they pay for the use of women’s bodies, is that they just don’t want to have to attend to the women’s needs/wants/thoughts/humanity – these men just want their personal desires met. They don’t want to put in any mental or physical consideration to the sperm receptacle on the other end, and they’ll pay any amount of cash to get what they want.

    If it weren’t for this blog and the top-level blaming, I think I would have dissolved into a puddle of despair years ago. Thank you Jill & Co. I attribute my sanity to you.

    I’m off to drown my incredulity in a strawberry daiquiri.

  115. mearl

    Addendum to item # 1 (when my comment comes out of moderation):
    Find me a pool of working dudes who will stop being sexist fuckos and treat me as an equal in every way – IF I PAY THEM ENOUGH MONEY.

  116. MariaS

    @ Triste

    If that drive for partner sex exists apart from the Patriarchy, however, there might still be a portion of the population with an interest in transactional sex. It obviously wouldn’t be a service necessary for life, but some people still might go for it, and there might be some professionals interested in providing sex services for such people. They would be professionals, probably. Like plumbers. Or maybe more like interior decorators. Sure, you could decorate your own pad, but maybe you like the look of a professionally-done place better.

    The idea of sex as performance or skill, or something that someone can be expert or professional at, is something it would be better to lose completely. It’s a mechanistic and male-centric idea: sex as something you do to someone else, and that if you make the right moves it will all work and be wonderful. A man expounding on how expert he is at sex and how well he satisfies women is just downright creepy. Presenting sex as expertise also makes people out to be interchangeable, doing away with the idea of feeling desire for a particular person. It’s also goal-oriented: achieve or induce orgasm.

    Sex isn’t something we do, but something we feel. It’s hardly ever represented that way though. The factors that make a partnered sexual experience a good one are things like feeling comfortable and present in your own body, not being constrained or pushed or coerced, and the un-pin-downable factor of attraction to the other person. Those aren’t things that another person can make happen to order. It makes as much sense as paying someone to be a friend to you.

    “Transactional” or “professional” sex only seems to make sense in relation to the notion of sex as being done to someone or being done to you, if sex is only about needing another body to be present so that one can relieve sexual frustration. But if our ideal for sex is that no one should need to be being sexual when they don’t freely desire it for themselves, then transactional sex makes no sense (as others have already argued).

    If all men have a right to be sexually serviced, and serviced the way they want, when they want, by who they want, someone somewhere will then have to lose the right to say no. What will happen, in our future anarchist society, when not enough women freely choose to be ‘free’ prostitutes? Will some new way be found to manipulate women into it? Will it become an obligation all women have to fulfil, like taking your turn cleaning the toilets? How will this ‘obligation’ be enforced?

    http://autonomousradicalfeminists.wordpress.com/2009/10/30/the-flaws-in-this-anarchist-response-to-prostitution

    I know you aren’t arguing for anyone’s “right” to have sex, Triste, but similar questions arise from the idea that whatever kind of society humans live in, there will be people who accomodate others’ wishes to have sex on demand. Framing this arrangement as being at the sex-provider’s instigation, or elevating the sex-provider to expert or teaching/therapeutic status still seems to hide the underlying sense of entitlement from the customer/acolyte/whatever.

    In a world free of patriarchy (and capitalism) a whole load of things would be different – it wouldn’t be that we still have all the same social institutions just without women being oppressed. If sex were not bound up in power, conformity and gender roles, then for a start I think people would not even have the expectation or sense of entitlement that they should “get laid”. People would more freely engage in casual sexual relationships and explore and act on feelings of mutual attraction, if that was what they wished, and equally the idea of being asexual wouldn’t be questioned or judged. The category of people who “can’t get laid” might not exist, because all our social prejudices about who is “attractive” with regard to age, appearance, size, ability, just wouldn’t exist any more. Being shy or inexperienced would not be things to be ashamed of but things that people would be supportive about. We’d all treat each other with a whole lot more understanding and empathy and respect.

    @ FrumiousB – I wouldn’t (yet) go so far as to label The Good Men Project “Nice Guys (TM)”. It’s interesting to sit back and see men starting to do some work on questioning and exploring gender norms, and themselves, and also to perceive the hows and whys of the limitations and failures there. There was some outright MRA “fathers for justice” type crap the other day, but on the other hand they did publish a piece by a woman honestly expressing how apprehensive and negative she felt about the incursion of porn-related terms like MILF into everyday discourse – http://goodmenproject.com/featured-content/milfs-and-happy-endings/ I didn’t read the comments, because I didn’t hold out high expectations for them.

    That Tracy Clark-Flory article is a piece of work. “A new study conflates paying for prostitutes with indulging in mainstream and legal sexual entertainment”. So it IS a bad thing be compared to men who use people in prostitution? Why is it “absurd” to see paying for sexual services as similar to paying for a lap dance or for porn? She continues the inconsistency of be offended on behalf of men who just watch porn or occasionally go to a strip club, AND disparages Farley for drawing out negative attributes of the prostitution-using men in the study. Moreover, why is the fact that Melissa Farley once took part in direct action against porn magazines a disparagement on the work of her and her colleagues in carefully conducting thousands of hours of research and collating thousands of pages of interviews and responses and analysing them?

  117. MariaS

    Another thought re “transactional sex” – Farley’s studies of johns all include responses from men who (unsurprisingly) found that paying for sex wasn’t at all what they expected it would be and they didn’t feel positive about it afterwards. As well as overtly misogynist responses, there are a fair number of ambivalent, conflicted, and negative descriptions of the experience of paying for sex. I suspect that even in a non-patriarchal society expectations that paying or otherwise reimbursing someone to have sex with you would be simple, convenient and fulfilling would still be unrealistic.

  118. amrit

    In case some of you haven’t seen this yet. A damning mix of misogyny and racism. A European ‘hero’ in his own mind.

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2011/07/24/norway-massacre-anders-breivik-s-deadly-attack-fueled-by-hatred-of-women.html

  119. Ex-Advertising, Now Free

    @K.A. Based on years of frustrating experiences trying to communicate with men AND women, many of whom consider feminism a dirty word nowadays, I have gathered that the pinnacle of victimhood consists of a man buying dinner on a date but not getting his “fair due” (eye roll) of sex in return. Seriously, you can’t even talk about child prostitution or Sharia law nowadays without some MRA ass flapping his trap about how here in the good old US of A, child support, ADHD medication, and holding the door open for Grandma at the movies have all colluded to make the White American Male an Endangered Species and the Winner of the Oppression Olympics, besides. It’s sick.

  120. Anne

    MariaS – “The Good Men Project,” from the couple times I’ve checked it out, seems to be a mixed bag of some men who get it to some extent or are making a decent effort to, chivalrous Nice GuysTM without a clue, and MRA trolls.

  121. Jill

    Yo, Mearl. Nice blaming.

  122. Jill

    As for “transactional sex” on the planet Obstreperon (the planet Obstreperon, if you’re just joining us, has already had its feminist revolt, and indeed, has progressed to the point where all desire — for art or sex or all that other crap everyone thinks is so human — is all pretty much obviated by the species having evolved into a race of giant throbbing truth-pods), no no no! There is none, because there is no sex class. There is no money. This means there is no class structure, period. There is no need to coerce sex out of a person, via compensation, who otherwise wouldn’t sex you, because nobody needs compensation. It’s simple!

  123. GMM

    No shock, but a Finnish newspaper called ‘Aamulehti’ is now blaming women for creating people like Breivik, and two school shooters Auvinene and Saari, by not ‘putting out’ enough for these poor lonely guys:

    “If Auvinen, Saari or Breivik had had a bit of sex and even an occasional girlfriend every now and then, none of them would have ended a mass murderer. Sex, or the lack of it, is the definite driving force in a young man’s life. If you don’t get any, it is only too easy to fill one’s mind with obsessive thoughts about spreading your own personal misery around the entire surrounding society.

    “In the end, I can’t do more than plea for all the young women out there; go and talk to these shy, quiet and introvert guys. That will save their lives and in some cases, tens of others too.”

    The article is in Finnish:
    http://www.aamulehti.fi/Kotimaa/1194688377213/artikkeli/puheenaihe+tyton+puute+sairastuttaa+miehenalun.html

  124. laxsoppa

    GMM – That’s the article I referred to, not knowing that there are translations. Read at your own risk. Good thing is, a lot of people from across the board in Finland are expressing their distate to the editor, who has, upon finding himself in a hole, proceeded to keep digging with oafish and (possibly drunkenly) misspelled responses (I kid thee not).

    Basically his response to criticisms has been along the lines of “just read it more thoroughly, it’s all just about love making the world go round!”

    No, it’s not. Too bad he missed the memo in which basic human decency was introduced, and a lot of other facts about the attacks and Breivik himself.

  125. GMM

    Sorry laxsoppa! I thought maybe it was another women-blaming article with a similar message. It’s an op-ed piece by Markus Määttänen. The translation I quoted is thanks to a post at Phayngula. It’s not the whole article.

    Anders Behring Breivik is actually complaining about women being too sexaully active in his manifesto.

    He whines: “Approximately 50% of my female friends end up under the definition/category; promiscuous (female sluts) as they have engaged in sexual activity with more than 20 partners.

    “A majority of them have been infected with one or more sexually transmitted diseases – so called STDs such as herpes, chlamydia etc. A promiscuous lifestyle is glorified by the media through series such as Sex and the City and artists such as Madonna, Lady Gaga, Christina Aguilera and a multitude of other much nastier artists. The boundaries are gradually deteriorating as this development is allowed to continue.”

  126. Anne

    @GMM “…and the other 50% don’t put out enough.”

    Why is that kind of manifesto, like George Sodini’s, always taken as a problem with women as a hivemind and never taken as a problem with the mass-murdering dorks who obviously get these insipid ideas from places like HuffPo and the Daily Mail?
    Yeah I know why. It’s a rhetorical question.

  127. laxsoppa

    GMM, no prob, I should thank you for bringing the translation here! But back to Breivik’s manifesto – in case someone was still unsure about this, ladies, you can never get femininity right. It cannot be done, so anyone still wondering if they could be “acceptable” and retain their sanity can quit trying now and relax.

    I swear I will start a WRA blog one of these days, and fill it with direct copies of MRA whinings, only with the genders reversed and even the vaguest reference to sex replaced with cunnilingus or, I dunno, margaritas. And I don’t care if someone is already doing it.

  128. Bushfire

    “Anders Behring Breivik is actually complaining about women being too sexaully active in his manifesto.

    He whines: “Approximately 50% of my female friends end up under the definition/category; promiscuous (female sluts) as they have engaged in sexual activity with more than 20 partners.”

    Awesome. Four more people and I’ll be an official Promiscuous Slut.

  129. Bushfire

    Jill, have you seen the thread about the swedish model on feministe? What’s your take on that?

    I do read Feministe, but I’m gonna go ahead and guess that Twisty does not read it, because it is often saturated with fun-feminists and I doubt she wants to wade through the comments of the Doesn’t Get It crowd in the hopes that someone has said something worthwhile. Jill F. is great, but a lot of her commenters and guest authors are pretty stinky.

  130. awhirlinlondon

    An excellent article in yesterday’s “Boston Globe”: http://articles.boston.com/2011-08-08/bostonglobe/29865099_1_prostitution-boston-buyers-women-and-girls

    The first paragraph sums up the argument: “State lawmakers and the public are increasingly recognizing the inextricable links between sex trafficking and prostitution. The dynamic is straight out of Economics 101. Without demand for purchasable bodies, there would be no supply of women and girls, and no distribution by violent traffickers and pimps.” It goes on to describe the various methods that we know will reduce demand – shaming, fining and punishing the “johns.” (Or, ahem, alluding the scuffle on another thread: the “honkeys.”)

    The comments are precisely as you would expect.

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