SlutWalk Toronto & Vancouver Dyke March announce official partnership with sex trade lobby

It is concerning that two events aimed primarily at women (that purport a connection to feminism) have partnered with lobby groups promoting prostitution as an empowered choice.

Image: Facebook/Maggie’s: Toronto Sex Workers Action Project

Two Canadian events, supposedly feminist in nature, have announced they will be partnering with the sex trade lobby. SlutWalk Toronto, which held its first march in April 2011 after police officer Michael Sanguinetti told students that “women should avoid dressing like sluts in order not to be victimized,” will be holding their seventh annual march on August 12th. In an email, march organizers announced that they planned to center “sex worker rights” this year and, as such, were partnering with Maggie’s: Toronto Sex Workers Action Project, a lobby group that advocates to fully decriminalize brothels and the purchase of sex.

From early on, SlutWalk has expressed a capitalist, libertarian approach to the sex trade that refused to criticize its misogynist and racist foundation, instead presenting prostitution as gender neutral, empowering for women, and “a job like any other.” But to explicitly partner with an organization that exists primarily to promote sex work as work, to the point that they endorse “youth sex work” and have argued that consent laws harm prostituted children, takes this pro-prostitution position to another level.

 

In their 2011 “Youth at Work” issue, Shameless magazine published an article by Phoenix Anne McKee, who was working with Maggie’s Toronto to create a guide for “youth sex workers.” She positioned child prostitution as a viable “choice” and argued that men who buy sex from exploited children should be decriminalized, writing, “age of consent laws pose a risk to the safety of youth aged 14 and 15 who decide to engage in sex work.” McKee, who was prostituted at the age of 14, also argued that the sex trade “helped [her] out in [her] life.” She points to Maggie’s as the organization that helped her understand that prostitution is not a bad thing, but an empowering thing.

Considering SlutWalk has particular appeal to young women, it is extremely concerning that this upcoming march is partnering with an organization that promotes prostitution as an empowered choice, not just for women, but for girls.

Beyond this, Maggie’s has worked to silence and smear feminists who criticize the sex trade. In 2015, the organization launched a petition to have me fired and no-platformed, due in large part to my writing (published then at rabble.ca, a Canadian progressive online magazine) in opposition to the sex trade. The petition authors made numerous libelous statements about my words and my work, labeling me as “racist,” a “bigot,” “transmisogynistic,” and “whorephobic.” While, ultimately, I was not fired from my job, the petition and willingness of this organization to publish lies about and work to silence women who make feminist arguments against objectification and male violence against women further cemented their anti-feminist and anti-democratic politics.

On July 29th, the Vancouver Dyke March, an annual event that works toward “greater visibility, pride, and community engagement for queer women and their allies” announced that the Grand Marshal for the 14th Annual Vancouver Dyke March was Sex Workers United Against Violence (SWUAV).

 

Like Maggie’s, SWUAV is a lobby group that advocates for the full decriminalization of pimps, johns, and brothel-owners. In 2007, the non-profit group filed a constitutional challenge to Canada’s prostitution laws, and has worked with Pivot since then to fight for the decriminalization of johns.

In 2014, SWUAV and Pivot co-published a report called, “Criminalization of Clients: Reproducing Vulnerabilities for Violence and Poor Health among Street-Based Sex Workers in Canada,” which argued against the “criminalization and policing of sex buyers.” In 2016, SWUAV and Pivot partnered with Maggie’s, as well as a number of other pro-sex industry lobby groups, on a submission to the UN Committee on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), which argued it was the criminalization of johns — not the men themselves — that endangered prostituted women. The submission presents prostitution as a source of “economic empowerment” for women and attacks Canada’s new, hard fought for feminist legislation (the Protection of Communities and Exploited Persons Act, also known as Bill C-36), which decriminalized prostituted people and criminalized exploitative men, demanding the new laws be repealed. Shockingly, the submission also goes to great lengths to downplay trafficking, saying there is “little evidence of trafficking in Canada,” that numbers are exaggerated, reports sensationalized, and that trafficking is not a pressing problem in Canada, despite numerous reports showing otherwise. Indeed, there is ample evidence connecting the trafficking of Asian women to “massage parlours” across Canada; and Indigenous girls and women, in particular, are trafficked within Canada’s borders. Yet the submission states, “In the vast majority of situations, Indigenous women do sex work independently and voluntarily.”

To imply that marginalized women and girls are voluntarily choosing prostitution of their own free will, that it empowers them, and that men should not be held accountable for exploiting these women and girls is deeply unethical. To deny the problem of trafficking in order to advocate towards the full decriminalization of prostitution, when it is common knowledge that trafficking increases in countries that legalize prostitution, is similarly unconscionable. Both Maggie’s and SWUAV have shown themselves to be working in the interests of capitalism, white supremacy, and patriarchy in their efforts to normalize and expand the sex trade. They have also demonstrated opposition to feminists and women’s rights. That two events purporting to center women and women’s empowerment have officially partnered with such demonstrably unethical and anti-feminist groups is deeply troubling.

Meghan Murphy
Meghan Murphy

Founder & Editor

Meghan Murphy is a freelance writer and journalist. She has been podcasting and writing about feminism since 2010 and has published work in numerous national and international publications, including New Statesman, Vice, Al Jazeera, The Globe and Mail, I-D, Truthdig, and more. Meghan completed a Masters degree in the department of Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies at Simon Fraser University in 2012 and lives in Vancouver, B.C. with her dog.

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  • The Dyke March???? Partnering with “sex-work” lobbyists????? The dykes I know wouldn’t dream of prostituting themselves. I’m sorry, I know I shouldn’t use this terminology, but how many dykes are ‘hoes?? None, give or take …. ????? So….I’m not going to be able to go this year. No dyke march, no pride parade. Gonna be a quiet weekend.

  • melissa

    “But to explicitly partner with an organization that exists primarily to promote sex work as work, to the point that they endorse “youth sex work” and have argued that consent laws harm prostituted children, takes this pro-prostitution position to another level…”

    “In their 2011 “Youth at Work” issue, Shameless magazine published an article by Phoenix Anne McKee, who was working with Maggie’s Toronto to create a guide for “youth sex workers.” She positioned child prostitution as a viable “choice” and argued that men who buy sex from exploited children should be decriminalized, writing, “age of consent laws pose a risk to the safety of youth aged 14 and 15 who decide to engage in sex work.” McKee, who was prostituted at the age of 14, also argued that the sex trade “helped [her] out in [her] life.” She points to Maggie’s as the organization that helped her understand that prostitution is not a bad thing, but an empowering thing.”

    What in the actual fuck? Jesus Christ, this is a new low. And we get appalled by the third world when poverty stricken parents marry off little girls? I mean whats the difference? How is this not worse if anything? Allowing thousands of strange, obviously pedophilic,adult men to turn impoverish children into sexual commodity for their pleasure and entertainment? The “help her out in life” argument is EXACTLY the excuse that gets used by fathers that sell their daughters in extreme poverty, to old men in exchange for money/food/shelter. So lets defend that too while we’re at it, as long as the kids are convinced and incentivized enough through dire need to consent, right?. And why even stop there, lets make taking organs from poor children legal too if they’re desperate enough to sell them. If repeated child rape is fine, why not this? Let them make the empowered choice of selling their kidneys and any other body organ they choose.Their body their choice right? Its all consensual after all, so surely no one is getting exploited here. /s

    Seriously, this is nauseating.

  • Midori

    When will liberal fun “feminism” die out? These people are doing so much damage while thinking they’re progressive!

    • radwonka

      Probably never.

  • Meghan Murphy

    The arguments made in the article are preeeetty disturbing, especially because it feels a bit like she’s been groomed by Maggie’s to make the arguments. But I completely can relate to not wanting to read it just to get angry and upset.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Who are you directly this comment/question to? No one is making this argument… Not third wavers (who seem to believe anything related to ‘sex’ is a good thing, including sexual objectification), nor feminists who oppose sexual objectification and the sex trade…

  • Meghan Murphy

    I’m not sure who runs it, but I suspect it is younger women… It is volunteers, in any case. While I agree it should be specifically about lesbians being out and proud, it appears to have been totally taken over by queer politics, meaning they use language like ‘all genders’ and support the legalization of the sex trade (something that only benefits men and capitalists). It’s so sad.

  • It’s hard to ban something when so many of the faculty earn a living from it. And occasionally they do come up with something good.

    • FierceMild

      “Occasionally they do come up with something good.”

      Like what?

  • Julia

    I’ve actually read explanations of prostitution from liberal feminists and it is bizarre. First they claim that “sex work” isn’t inherently gendered, that’s just how it has developed in our society. Never mind there are no societies with majority men in similar situations. Then they go on about how prostitution started with prehistoric marriage when women traded meat for sex – i.e. sex for survival. This is some theory put forth by a male anthropologist. This theory is stupid on so many levels (FYI, anthropological theories are just that: theories. Some have merit, others are horseshit). First, it is basically saying that women need men to survive, but men only need women for sex, not survival. No where does this consider that you don’t need meat to survive unless you live in the arctic or the desert; hunting has traditionally been hit or miss (literally!), unlike gathering and agriculture. Which then brings me to my next point: that women have, in many cultures, controlled resources such as gathering or agriculture, AND women have the ability to hunt, too, if they did need meat to survive. It is such as dumb and sexist theory, basically saying women are helpless and have always been helpless, AND it ignores their (bullshit) assertion that prostitution is not inherently gendered because they are basing it on WOMEN surviving. They contradict their own bull. There is no historical knowledge of culture in liberal feminism. They completely ignore that prostitution is high in societies in which women don’t traditionally have access to means of survival; i.e. there is a strong dependence on men. And that this changes in societies over time….

  • Julia

    Also, what does “youth sex work” mean for statutory rape laws? Wouldn’t this destroy the foundation of these very necessary laws if youth can legally and morally sell their bodies to men for sex? How do people not see this?

  • corvid

    Please explain why you are censoring the word sl*t then.

  • corvid

    Why would a lesbian “choose” to sexually service men??

  • Kathleen Lowrey

    I wonder a lot about how these proliferating non-profits supporting “sex work is work” and decriminalization of johns get funded. We know that the sex industry is hugely profitable, and we know that astroturf is the go-to strategy of every corporate malefactor known to recent history. I’m old enough to remember smokers’ rights campaigns courtesy of Philip Morris and R.J. Reynolds, and everything described in the book and documentary _Merchants of Doubt_ seems perfectly applicable to the sex trade.

    • Meghan Murphy

      I think you’re on the right track, re: astroturf and these ‘sex worker’ organizations…

  • Yisheng Qingwa

    No woman is a slut. YOU are the idiot if you think calling ANY woman a slut is somehow “empowering”.

  • Yisheng Qingwa

    BINGO. Thank you.

  • radwonka

    Too late, everyone supports pedos nowadays

  • radwonka

    Yeah, that’s why they are so popular: because they support all the pedos and all the perverts.

  • Hekate Jayne

    I agree with you, you very obviously don’t understand.

  • radwonka

    Because it’s work, if it’s work, then you are not serving anyone, you are just empowered and getting some cash!!! *sarcasm*

  • radwonka

    GTFO.

  • Wren

    Why in the world would a lesbian group align themselves with the prostitution lobby?? It just doesn’t make any sense and even non-politicized people can see that. Did they have some kind of hostile takeover? Are they actually women, or are they a bunch of trans?

    That these events are called “slut” walks but claim to be anti-sexual violence, instead of being called…oh I don’t know…”MEN STOP RAPING WOMEN” WALKS?!? If they’re gonna have educational posters about consent, how about they actually call the event something that doesn’t elicit embarrassment and snickers, so maybe mature and intelligent women will want to participate, and maybe it will make men nervous?? I’ve never seen a man put-off by a woman calling herself a slut, even in jest. He does not think, “whoa she’s got BOUNDARIES!!”

    And confounding the notion of clear consent and paid rape is just so fucking annoying. The idea that a monetary transaction is consent is so pervasive and it seems hopelessly lost in the current conversations around consent, and this walk illustrates it.

  • Wren

    Nobody here’s gonna buy the idea that prostitution is a choice. Still, I’m glad you got out alive.

  • Zuzanna Smith

    What were the other choices?

  • FierceMild

    I didn’t follow that link at all. Sometimes I’m just not strong enough.

  • FierceMild

    What does “slut” mean?

  • Kate Mitchell

    I chose! I was NOT raped! I CHOSE!
    Zuzanna- other choices were further education, cleaning jobs, single parent payments (in Australia these payments r basic, but survivable.).
    There were many other choices I could have made. I’m almost 60 now, and haven’t sex worked for over 10 years. Still don’t regret that CHOICE!
    Seems this is one of those subjects where u feel u have some right to tell ME what I feel and think rather than my defining my own experience? Anyone here with any experience at all with sex work in Australia? Here, sex worker rights groups protect women’s rights to choose, and fight for the rights of those who do not chose, to have support to get out. Those without choice r often underage, immigrants, or women who have abusive partners making choices for them.

    • Thain Parnell

      You may have chosen but I am sorry a 14 year old cannot fully consent, nor should they be encouraged to do so. And while these sex worker rights groups may position that they are advocating for children by decriminalising the men who purchase them, in actuality, all they end up doing is removing the stigma from perverts who like to bone children. That stigma, that patina of immorality is the ONLY thing that prevents more predators from buying more young flesh. Take it away, by allying with these poisonous organisations, and mark my words, they’ll all come slithering out of the troll caves they live in to buy their pound of kiddie flesh. Women, as a collective class must wake up, we are the only ones who can stop this evil.

      • Kate Mitchell

        Of course a child cannot choose this! If anything I said could b interpreted as condoning child prostitution in ANY way shape or form, I absolutely withdraw it.

    • Hekate Jayne

      Ok. I believe you. It makes no sense to me.

      If you wanted to have sex with males, and you enjoyed it, why did you ask for payment?

      You said:
      “Those without choice r often underage, immigrants, or women who have abusive partners making choices for them.”

      So you encourage prostitution for the tiny minority like yourself, that loved it, while knowing that the vast majority are forced into it? You liked it so much that you want to keep it going, no matter about the women and girls that can’t choose?

      I’m not defining your experience or telling you how to feel. But I find it disgusting that you ignore the suffering of women and girls because you place importance on pleasing random male boners.

      Good job on making a statement that males should have sexual access to girls and women, no matter who it hurts, though. Patriarchal headpats and cookies to you!

    • Hanakai

      If the men were required to pay you to use your body, then you were not choosing to engage in sex with them. When I choose to have a happy sexual experience with a man, I do not charge him money for it.

      When the man is paying to use you, he is the one making the choice, the choice of how to use you, what to do with you.

      I have never met a girl child who says, I want to grow up and allow men to stick their dicks into me, use my body and my orifices in whatever way they want. No child makes that choice.

      There have been a number of studies in which women working in prostitution were asked if they wanted their daughters to work in prostitution and 100% of the women responded with a big NO. That in itself tells you it would not be something they chose.

      I, on the other hand, freely chose my profession and would have no qualms about a daughter following my footsteps.

  • Hekate Jayne

    If prostitution is really about economic opportunity for women, then why are prostitution supporters not attempting to give ALL women economic opportunity? Why are they focusing on the (few that they insist are choosey-choicing) women that “choose” “sex work”?

    My being a poor woman that knows a lot of other poor woman, not a single one that I know says “you know what I would really love? I would really love to have sex with 20 males a day! And ideally, these males would be purchasing my body because they are incapable of having a consensual sexual relationship with a woman! Dudes that purchase women for sex are the kindest dudes! Where can I sign up for that?”

    Prostitution is about one thing. It’s a guarantee of sexual access to female bodies by entitled males. That’s what these people are supporting. And in supporting it, they are supporting a system that will insure that there is always going to be a lower caste of women that will have to “choose” prostitution.

    How very fucking feminist.

    Also, it’s rape. If I have sex with a male because I need money to survive, it’s rape.

    If you have to pay a woman to have sex with you, dudes, that’s a sign that she wouldn’t be fucking you for free because she doesn’t want to.

    This also feeds into male entitlement. We shouldn’t be for sale just because some asshole has money and power to buy us.

    No sane, safe male wants to have sex with a woman that doesn’t want to fuck them. A male that thinks that this is an OK thing is a psycho, unsafe, rapist. Period.

  • Meghan Murphy

    I really do think that the fact FC’s readership grows in leaps and bounds, every year, should tell us something positive about the desire women have to push back against all this…

  • The backlash I’ve seen so far (eg to trans issues) is that people who’ve never thought about trans people before (think conservative church-goers and the like) get grossed out and overreact to “sex” wherever it’s visible.

    Since men are people and women are sex, that translates to even more anti-women crap. E.g. zomg! tighten abortion restrictions to stop the flood of sexual weirdness.

    No, it doesn’t make any sense. It doesn’t have to for backlashers.

  • FierceMild

    Thanks, Wren! That is such a good, solid, measurable example. I also think that there isn’t actually a greater amount of perversion and bullshit in the world today than there was yesterday, but there are more women pointing a finger to it and calling bullshit. Yeah, the internet can contribute to what another commenter called “trendzgenderism” but it also is responsible for getting Malala Yousafzai on the world stage when a man shot her in the head for going to school. And it’s no just rich white western gawkers listening; it’s girls just like her in Pakistan, in Israel, in Bolivia and Peru, and Alabama, and Utah, and Quebec. And we will win because we are right…as long as men don’t explode the whole planet first (#globalwarminghurtsmentoo).

    • Hanakai

      There have always been crimes and perversions, but the crimes and perversions are far, far worse and more common today than they were thirty, fifty, eighty, a hundred years ago. Pornography has, to my mind and according to the data, been a HUGE factor in the proliferation

      Anal sex, much less anal rape, was not something in the realm of our consciousnesses when I was in high school. Now, the boys coerce or pressure girls for anal. The Yale chant of “No means yes and yes means anal” is a creature of the Millennial demographic and Age of Porn.

      Porn is not the only factor. Rapid technological change and the predations of late-stage capitalism lead to widespread anomie and the breakdown of community. The teaching of such idiocies as queer theory and transgender normalism, the cultural adoption of the homosexual male sexual practices and norms, a general loosening of standards of honor and decency and goodness, the failure so far of humans to adapt wise sexual mores to the new material reality of The Pill giving women and other humans the ability to control fertility for the first time in history — these and many other factors.

      Having watched things for several decades, it seems that there has been a huge regression in women’s consciousness as a whole. Looking at popular culture with its stripper feminism and its support of porn and prostitution, it seems rights that earlier feminists won are being eroded and the cultural pendulum has swung to a severe hatred of women. The social media, computers, ubiquitous screens have made modern young stupider than older generation; attention spans are short; the ability to think rationally or critically is impaired; mental illness has become the norm. Not good on the individual or species level.

      Knowing the importance of naming and language, earlier feminists and our foremothers struggled to have adult women referred to as women, instead of as girls, broads, hens, b*tches, c*nts, whores, sluts, etc. These slurs are ugly, they help normalize misogyny and perpetuate sexism. Many of these words should be retired or fade from the language as our consciousness evolves. But what do the young women do? They call themselves sluts and start a campaign called Slutwalk in which they dress like bordello workers and parade around in their underwear, while hordes of male perverts show up to watch, film and photograph. Ugh.

      When was the last time men protested or ran a campaign or movement in their underwear???

      I would like to have more hope for the god-awful human species, but the objective signs are not positive. C’est la vie.

      • Leo

        “mental illness has become the norm”
        I strongly suspect it hasn’t, it’s just misdiagnosed, and the stats seem to get inflated by misguided well-meaning people who think that ‘normalising’ it by making out ‘everyone could be mentally ill!’ is helpful (while actually normalising by getting society to accept mentally ill people would be more challenging). I am mentally ill, but I certainly didn’t get any proper diagnostic procedure before being handed anti-depressants, and medical professionals don’t always understand it well enough to diagnose it correctly.

        • Tobysgirl

          I think Hanakai is referring to what Fromm would have termed the insane society. Rather than mental illness as an individual diagnosis, the entire society is insane. Fromm based his analysis on Nazi Germany but certainly did not see the U.S. as a sane society.
          On a personal level, I have become convinced that much of what is diagnosed as individual mental illness requires first and foremost superb nutrition and supplementation. In the 1960s a psychiatrist had a cure rate of 75 to 85 percent of schizophrenic patients simply through good diet and large doses of niacin and Vitamin C. How many people have I read who cured their depression by ending their iodine deficiency. And one of the major symptoms of hypothyroidism is depression. I understand people’s experiences, particularly in childhood, contribute to mental problems, but as I told a “professional,” I wish my nephew who committed suicide had had access to proper nutrition and supplementation as talk therapy (and I would guess they were giving him meds) did him absolutely no good.

          • Leo

            Sorry for you and your family’s loss.

            Possibly, but it’s an idea that erases actual mental illness, and risks not properly acknowledging societal oppression (against women etc. and mentally ill people themselves) – it wouldn’t be Ok to argue everyone is disabled just in order to make a point about society (and mental illness can be a type of disability). The society (…dudes, mostly) appears ‘insane’, or perhaps, irrational, because it’s designed on an oppressive basis and has to make logical contortions and maintain cognitive dissonance in order to justify this oppression, yet this oppression is still designed to some purpose (so that women may be exploited, etc.) rather than being truly irrational (mentally ill people are not necessarily irrational at all, anyway). Mentally ill people/those with a neurological condition are also in some ways a threat to this established social order and its values.

            I would potentially put something that could be resolved purely by nutrition in the category of misdiagnosis, but either way the underlying condition is real, a medical issue, not metaphorical. I’ve had a lot of blood tests myself, nothing is wrong there. I don’t think it’s simply childhood experiences, but that the stress might be a triggering factor, perhaps there’s a genetic predisposition.

  • I’m sure there are lesbian prostitutes, but I can’t help but doubt that there are any/many dyke lesbians in the trade. I see from your later reply to another poster that what you actually mean to say is that in Australia there are other choices women can make to survive. So those who go into prostitution have rejected the other choices. I’m wondering about aboriginal women in Australia. Are the other choices available to them? I’m also wondering (really) how much violence you encountered as a prostitute in Australia. Was your life ever in danger? Were you ever scared? Did anyone have control over you and/or over your earnings? Did you have any children? If so, did any of them become prostitutes? Would you have, or did you, encourage them to become prostitutes? You don’t have to answer any of these q’s of course.

    • Kate Mitchell

      I can’t answer for aboriginal women in this context. However, I came across very few in my working life. Australia is a very racist country, in particular toward our first peoples, so I would venture that this could indeed b a dangerous choice for them. I encountered no violence except in relation to women with violent partners and this seldom intruded on the work environment. I was not scared- mind u, I chose my working environments carefully! No-one but me had control over my earnings or me. I did have children. My eldest son was in a relationship with a working girl for 10 years from the age of 19. (He is now almost 40). One of my foster daughters worked from the age of 22. I actively intervened to stop her working at a younger age. (She was 15 wen I first fostered her). I certainly don’t (and didn’t) encourage anyone else to go into sex work. That is a very personal (and adult) decision indeed!

  • Lucia Lola

    When I think back to the days when me and my girlfriends were so gung ho about the SLUT march….I freaking cringe. We all do. We were all 17 and 18 year old brats – impressionable ones – and here we are, five years later and so much wiser. This infuriates me so much.

  • Omzig Online

    There are lots of obvious parallels between the trans lobby and pedophiles. In both cases, the group came from the fringes of society and claimed that they were marginalized victims of discrimination and stigma. Both groups have attempted to ride the coat tails of the gay community into the mainstream by using the “born this way” template. Both groups make highly inappropriate demands of society to validate their mental illness. And, most importantly, both groups LOVE to point to the DSM’s history of categorizing homosexuality as a mental illness as proof-positive that they’re being stigmatized by the health care community.

    I’m not necessarily saying that transgender people are attracted to children, mind you. But there’s an easily recognizable pattern forming here. My main criticism is aimed instead at liberals, who are proving themselves to be dangerously easy to manipulate. They sincerely believe that they are sticking up for the underdogs, the most marginalized of the marginalized. A couple years ago, they were publishing articles in Salon magazine imploring the public to consider pedophiles as victims of their own impulses ( that article was taken down recently). Now, they’re demanding that we accept cross dressers into our private spaces and our bedrooms. And they’re apparently too obtuse to at least protect kids from this ideological mindfuckery.

    To put it nicely, I believe that liberals are proving themselves to be incredibly gullible. I hope they end up just as embarrassed of their support for transgender males as they were of their support for pedophiles.

    But for the life of me, I just don’t understand why their bleeding-heart liberal sympathy stops short of showing an ounce of real concern for prosituted women and children. Not even for exploited little kids. It truly breaks what’s left of my heart.

  • radwonka

    It exists because it supports individualism. And individualism is the most popular dogma today. That’s why postmodernism doesn’t challenge norms.

    “I’m honestly not sure how you would persuade people that it should all shut down.”

    So why are you here? Whenever you comment, you just criticize radicals and tell them what to do. Anyways, to answer your question: no ideology lasts forever.

  • Itish

    I saw you a few days ago on Spiked complaining about the “feminised media” because of the use of emotion and propaganda and distraction in the media. I see men being outraged (outrage is an emotion), and angry (also an emotion), all the time, working themselves up over gossip, so I guess macho dickheads are also “feminised”. This article isn’t about anything you just said, you don’t strike me as being very intelligent.

    • kfwkfw

      !!!!!

  • Alienigena

    I don’t think the queering of LGBT is such a new thing. If by new you mean the last 5-10 years. When I sat on the board of a non-profit feminist film festival in Canada the committee programming the lesbian content called themselves queer, their segment was called “Queer Celebration” some years and I am going back to the 2001 festival program.In 1998 their segment was called Lesbian Celebration Night. I don’t know what happened between 1998 and 2001 as I was not a member of that programming committee. The first transgender segment appeared in 2001 as well, I was not involved with that segment. The programming committee for that segment was MtT (3 people) for most part (I don’t recognize the names, one is Christine Baker, PhD social work, trans identified male) but the idea for such a segment was brought forward by a board member who was lesbian and a member of the local civil liberties organization. We had someone involved with the festival who was a lesbian and a MSW student at the time so maybe she had some connection to Christine Baker. In retrospect I assume most of the women volunteering for the festival were liberal feminists including the lesbian board members and programmers. We constantly had to defend our mandate to new volunteers and the female only programming policy and the fact the festival had feminist in the name (eventually it was removed, I objected but …). Our mandate included only screening work for which 3 of the main creative roles were held by women (writer, director, animator, film editor, producer (iffy in terms of creativeness, I guess)), paying artist fees (no festival at the time did that), community-based programming, we had a consensus-based decision-making model, provided daycare and subsidies for women who wanted to attend the festival, etc.

  • Hekate Jayne

    Nope.

    You also don’t understand that I am not your mommy or your teacher.

    You can fuck off now.

  • Hekate Jayne

    I read a few lesbian boards, and if what I have read is any indication, then lesbians are concerned that the trans shit is going to blow back on to them.

    Conservatives are usually not the best critical thinkers. They definitely lump gay and lesbian in with trans.

  • Hekate Jayne

    It was everything that I could do to keep from accusing that person of being a dude.

  • Alienigena

    ” … at talked about understanding history from multiple perspectives …” You could also take a course in introductory social/cultural anthropology and I think you would get the sense that there are various ways of being on this planet or were. No need to take a postmodern perspective. Some of the methodologies used in anthropology could be considered reflexive as well. I worked with a Marxist anthropologist in graduate school. Marxism is basically a materialist philosophy, a conviction that events, social structures have material causes (e.g. some people benefit from unequal societies). They don’t come to be because a godhead made them or because they are inherent features of a people or a culture. Given that my first degree was in biology I felt some affinity to that materialist worldview.

    “… grand narrative of nation states …”
    Who really feels comfortable with these grand narratives? The Japanese during internment, the Doukhobors (pacifists (who committed acts of bombing and arson paradoxically and who didn’t believe in private property, nudists) of western Canada whose children were sent to residential schools because parents would not send them to school. The ‘Famine Irish’ were not well received in Canada as they were poor and forced to live in squalor. Many moved to the US. When WW1 started Canadians were suspicious of Ukrainian immigrants and their Canadian-born children as they were seen as possible enemy agents. Jewish people were scapegoated in Europe and North America. Now it is Muslims.

    http://www.cbc.ca/history/EPISCONTENTSE1EP12CH2PA1LE.html

    As you point out indigenous peoples who have suffered the most.

    I don’t think there is as much buy-in to the grand narrative as you suggest.

    • Leo

      The thing is partly whether the grand narrative was what was primarily reflected in the history books (incl. those for teaching at school – we did cover slavery, but nothing about British imperialism, for instance, and it was still that kind of top-down, King-such-and-such did this, narrative), the literary canon, art, in the perspective of science, etc… Universities have intentionally worked on changing to include other narratives more.

      • Tobysgirl

        And now we have large numbers of young people who don’t know women only got the vote less than a hundred years ago, don’t know that 50+ years ago women and people of color were excluded from prestigious universities, etc, etc, etc. I was lucky — I grew up in a working-class suburb of Akron, Ohio, and we were taught some generalized history of union movements and other collective actions in elementary school.

  • Tobysgirl

    Having been around in the 1970s a division was seen at the time by radical feminists between ourselves and what we called equal rights feminists, what are now called liberal feminists. Equal rights feminism sees nothing wrong with the status quo except for women’s lack of access to positions of domination and exploitation. Equal rights feminism is pro-capitalism and pro-war, so its being pro-prostitution can hardly come as a surprise. Needless to say, equal rights feminism is what most people think of when they think of feminism, and radical feminism is deliberately vanished. Robert Jensen, a professor at the University of Texas, talks about radical feminism to his students who, of course, have never heard of it.
    I can’t speak for Canada, but in these United States, information from the mainstream media has been steadily shrinking my entire life. I am absolutely sure that it was a deliberate policy fomented by those in power to black out entire realms of ideas. I got polled the other day about drilling for oil in the Arctic and I told the pollster I did not agree with either of the choices I was presented with. My answers obviously surprised her and she said it was the most fascinating conversation she had had. I feel really bad for young people, many of whom lack exposure to radical ideas.

    • Liz

      Thank you for replying. I didn’t realize there was the radical-liberal divide then. I assumed feminist women were generally more radical back then. But when you mentioned it, I remembered I have read a couple of essays by radical feminists written in the 70s and 80s that said they won’t fight for the ERA because it would introduce things like women registering for the draft and they won’t be part of American imperialism.

      It’s great that your answers were interesting to the pollster! You never know when a seed you plant will take, maybe that is reason enough for hope.

      • Meghan Murphy

        Yeah my understanding is that there was a lot of critique of organizations like NOW (Betty Friedan’s org) from radical feminists in the late 60s, because now was made up primarily of white, middle and upper class women, and included men… Friedan, of course, considered lesbians “divisionary.” NOW and Friedan kinda epitomized liberal feminism back then, and I understand radical feminists criticized that approach pretty vehemently.

        • Tobysgirl

          And Gloria Steinem really epitomized equal rights feminism. Friedan had some excuse because of her age, but Steinem represented sorority feminism. She actually went out with Henry Kissinger (gag). And today she supports transgenderism, no surprise to me.

          • Meghan Murphy

            I don’t believe she actually supports transgenderism… I think she knows that if she doesn’t say she does, she will be no-platformed, attacked, and treated as a pariah.

          • Tobysgirl

            Why should Gloria Steinem not suffer what real feminists suffer?

          • Meghan Murphy

            I’m not defending her at all. I’m just guessing as to why she wouldn’t speak out.

          • Cassandra

            Agree.

      • Tobysgirl

        And, Liz, I just found this book title and a short interview on RT by a bought journalist:

        http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/47560.htm
        I have been wondering for quite a while how exactly the “intelligence” agencies control and direct information, and here’s my answer! Unfortunately the book has been suppressed. Oh what a free society we live in! Hahahahaha!

    • Milli

      I came from area where radical vs liberal feminism is not really a thing because there is lack of knowledge about radical feminism in general, too. It´s cultural because we had no capitalism in 1970s and official politics said “our women are liberated – not like those in capitalist world”. Off course, it wasn´t true. Women were used only as a political tool and source of cheap labor. It ruined feminism for decades because there was that lunatic idea that feminism is all about doing so called men´s work (in fact, work for men) and rejection of everything so called feminine. So – pro-choice (equal rights or liberal) feminism sounds actually pretty good to young women in my area. I am so sad. I don´t judge any woman because of her choice but not every choice is feminist, for Christ´s sake…Sex work is not feminist choice, it´s not a work, it is slavery. In fact, it´s not even a choice, only one of diseases of patriarchy. No political system can be pro-women, as long as patriarchy is here. I would prefer revolutionary change but I still think that if more women would have access to leading positions there should be hope (at least for next generations). Today´s situation is unsustainable. Supporting radical ideas and creating sisterhoods (and not hate or reject “the other” women but not support their wrong choices) is crucial.

  • Tobysgirl

    I have always been a supporter of gay and lesbian rights. But since Equality Michigan persecuted the Michigan Women’s Music Festival, I now no longer sign Equality Maine’s petitions as they have the same adoration of trans. Trans seems to be the raison d’etre for Equality [fill in state]’s existence.

  • Tobysgirl

    Follow the money, follow the money. One of the forces that has sidelined radicalism is the dependence on grants from foundations, i.e., begging for pennies from capitalist pillagers who then give away their stolen billions piecemeal as long as you never challenge their existence. I am very suspicious of articles that clearly serve the interests of the white male elite, whether it’s promoting GMOs, itching for war or covert operations, or suggesting that prostitution is empowering (there’s that damn word again for which I have no receptors).

  • Tobysgirl

    There was a slutwalk in Unity, Maine, at Unity College. I don’t even know where they walked, around the college grounds, I guess. This is a town of 2,000 people, very conservative, and the college mostly seems irrelevant though it loves to brag about its support for the environment and sustainable food (while being filmed in front of a Pepsi machine, which I found hilarious). Someone who went there told me some of her best friends were transgender, so that’s apparently a popular mental illness on campus, and she knew nothing about transgenderism except that “they’re really nice people.”

    • Just Passing Through

      The Pepsi machine !! Lol!!

  • Hekate Jayne

    Welcome, Claudia!

  • Omzig Online

    It boils down to male entitlement. Every. Single. Time.

  • Leo

    I agree too, the problem isn’t post-modernism as such but bad analysis, plain and simple.

    I don’t think everything about Marxism/radicalism even seems to work, because you wind up with the collective Vs. the individual and it’s like herding cats, or possibly a mix of sheep and goats. Too many people are validated by conformity to the status quo, they think they’re getting something out of it, we can talk about false conciousness but they won’t listen, and they’re not even entirely wrong – if they’re ‘rewarded’ for conforming (even for being seen as a ‘slut’) and not for not, then as an individual, they are kinda getting something from it in the here and now, compared to the alternative. Too bad for the collective and for the future. The old left relies on people not being wilfully stupid, conformist, selfish, short-termist, and even if we could fix the education system, I’ve really lost confidence that it’s true.

    I saw the new production of Angels in America streamed to cinema recently and was newly struck by the ‘How are we to proceed without Theory?’ scene.

  • Hekate Jayne

    I am glad that you brought this up.

    I don’t know if she intends it, but hanakai comes off as blaming women for our own oppression and blaming the victim.

    As a result, I don’t read very many of her posts. So I missed what you pointed out. But I am curious about it.

    • Wren

      Same. I’ll add that I have asked her for clarification several times, or stated that I did not feel comfortable with what she was saying, only to never get a response, as if my ideas where not worth considering. So I just gave up.

  • Leo

    I’d assume they meant the pressuring of women into anal sex, but with you about the way it was put. Not sure it’s intended as anti-pill and sexual revolution, so much as anti- the way it panned out in practice, with male sexual exploitation of women and women being pressured into things they don’t want to do. There’s no decency or goodness in women being used.

  • Atheist

    Tell me again how humanity isn’t doomed?

    It’s bad enough that men argue for lowering the age of consent, it’s even worse when they enlist women to do their dirty work for them.

    Because you know if it’s a WOMAN that says it, well, then other women should just shut up and agree with her.

    This is how misogynist trends start – one woman does something against her own interests, men point at her and say “this woman does it/thinks it/believes it, why don’t you?”

    The idea that a child can consent to be prostituted makes me want to puke. There’s a reason we have laws against this shit. There’s a reason why we have laws against child labor and underage sex. Because poor and working class children were being exploited by men and not given a chance to get an education or live up to their full potential. They were used, abused, and tossed aside like yesterday’s garbage without any survival prospects.

    This world and the people in it make me absolutely sick.

  • Wren

    There was nothing that I wrote that screamed “shut up” and I take offense at that. Your post did, however, state several of the misunderstandings about prostitution that I’ve been addressing my whole life.

    • Karen Eisen

      who appointed you the expert?

      • Hekate Jayne

        There are quite a few women here that escaped prostitution.

        You may want to keep that in mind.

  • Hekate Jayne

    You replied to my post as if I said that prostitution is an economic issue. My original post is still there, and I very plainly stated that it was not an economic issue. Your reply to my post made no sense.

    I wasn’t trying to shut you up. Your post was odd and wren tried to get you to clarify, and your response was to delete it.

    It’s interesting that instead of addressing her points, you called us mean and accused us of trying to shut you up. That, also, makes no sense.

  • Meghan Murphy

    No feminist would call a woman a ‘whore,’ and no feminist would call a prostituted woman (if that is what you mean) a ‘paedophile.’

  • Meghan Murphy

    You are correct that the mainstream isn’t fond of radical feminism – are you surprised? But it is not true that women aren’t interested in radical feminism. Just because you don’t know ’em, doesn’t mean they don’t exist in droves.

  • Meghan Murphy

    You really need to get out of your bubble, Mattie. Survivors of prostitution are leaders in this movement. They are our sisters. We all work together, collectively. The line you draw between ‘sex workers’ and ‘non-sex workers’ is not there.

  • Meghan Murphy

    The sex work lobby advocates in favour of child prostitution (‘youth sex work’) — that is not the same as saying prostituted women are pedophiles. You aren’t going to last long here if you continue to manipulate people’s words and troll.

  • Meghan Murphy

    The ‘radical’ in ‘radical feminism’ does not mean ‘extremist,’ it means ‘to get at the root.’ My suspicion, based on your language and cliched trolling, is that you are an MRA, not a prostituted woman.

    • Hekate Jayne

      Yep. Definitely male.

  • Hekate Jayne

    There’s a reason that I don’t support “underage participants in prostitution”. It’s because I don’t support child sexual abuse.

    You say that there’s no support for children being raped by males so that they can make money to survive. And then you say that you don’t like the “sexual exploitation of children”.

    Males buying access to child bodies for sex, which you say you support, IS EXPLOITATION.

    You stated opposite positions, and then supported both.

    “Underage participants” is your rapey coded language for CHILDREN. If you want to help kids, you would help them survive so that they don’t have to sell their bodies.

    Tell the truth. You don’t support anything but male access to children for rape.

    You should be in prison.

  • marv

    Prostituted women are coming out more frequently in solidarity with women still in the sex industry. They have been revolutionary in naming the cause of their oppression: male supremacy – pimps and johns. The male establishment and its enablers continue to hold back liberation for women with cleverly devised myths of sex work profession and empowerment.

    https://reneejg.net/2017/06/06/six-survivors-speak-out-about-new-zealands-punishing-sex-industry/

  • Hekate Jayne

    So it’s OK with you that the majority of women and girls are forced into prostitution.

    So long as you and your middle class, educated, white friends get what you want.

    Who cares about trafficked women? We can’t let them get in your way. They aren’t white, anyway, amirite.

    • radwonka

      mattie said, “unless you call needing a job a kind of force”

      ha rape industry activists are really shameless

      • Hekate Jayne

        Really. How do they not see force if the “choice” is either to sell your body for sexual use to males OR starve?

        Jesus. They can’t be that stupid.

  • Milli

    Youth sex work…Hmhm. I got involved to internet discussion today – one man said that feminist who does not support sex work is not feminist. Listen to sex workers, he said. I did. Majority of them said “Nordic model”. Why even people who called themselves progressives don´t wanna hear that? I would argue that prioritize choice (not well being) of minority over well being of majority is kinda classist approach but the main point is – everyone should have sex, just not as a job. Why are some people so pissed off about the simple fact that not every choice has to be the feminist one? Even when it screams to their faces that this is not feminist? Bad and sad.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Ok, you are done here. Bye.