Erasure

disappearing-woman

The following contains edited excerpts from and expands upon a panel I participated in called: “Creating Alternative Platforms for Feminist Analysis,” organized by Vancouver Rape Relief & Women’s Shelter as part of their annual Montreal Massacre Memorial event, held this year at the Vancouver Public Library on December 5th.

As women, we all understand what it means to feel erased. We are paid attention to in extreme, often threatening or violent ways, as sexualized objects, but simultaneously ignored and brushed off when we have something real to say. Men often react with shock or indignation when our opinions are not in congruence with theirs, treating any response to their opinions that isn’t awe, a smile, or a giggle as an affront. We are further ignored as we age — women over 50 made irrelevant, as they are no longer fuckable and therefore no longer visible, according to a male-centered society. Even worse, when we come forward with truths about our lives, as women — when we talk about the realities of the violence, sexual assaults, harassment, or domestic abuse we’ve faced — we are bullied into silence or simply ignored. We are mocked and punished for daring to disturb the peaceful quiet ignorance and apathy provide. The old saying that little girls should be seen and not heard applies no less frequently to grown women today, despite our claims that we’ve come such a long way (baby).

Any kind of work, behaviour, or activity that is categorized as “feminine” is, likewise, disregarded, including, as Rose Hackman wrote about last month for the Guardian, the emotional labour that women do. In our relationships with men we are often expected to be mindful of everyone’s feelings and forgive men’s inability to communicate respectfully or responsibly; therefore left to do all the emotional work for everyone. We’ve learned men are simply “less emotionally mature than women” and that we must be patient with them. Like children… But like children who rule the world.

We continue to pretend as though there are simply some things women are naturally better at — nurturing, caretaking, being kind, remembering plans, cleaning, looking beautiful… And because these are “woman-things,” associated with the feminine, they too are erased into the innate. We are effortlessly thin, beautiful, silent, fuckable, baby-making wives — offered no social, political, or economic status for these duties but expected to do them happily and humbly nonetheless.

The things we do in our lives, the experiences we have, our opinions, beliefs, and words are treated as frivolous — erased, marginalized, without value. In turn, our lives, in and of themselves, become unimportant and so our ongoing struggle for humanity — not fuckability, not visibility in front of the male gaze, not glorification of “the feminine” — called the feminist movement, too is devalued, erased, discredited, silenced.

We are allowed to speak for ourselves so long as we don’t politicize that speech, so long as we don’t attempt to connect our experiences as women to the experiences of other women, so long as we are sure to offend no one with our personal experiences. If it’s just personal, after all, our troubles belong only to us — to heal from, to resolve, to overcome. There is no possibility for solidarity among women so long as we are only having personal experiences that, let’s be honest, are probably just all in our heads.

We have never been trustworthy narrators of our own stories, never mind anyone else’s.

As women and as feminists we know that women’s work is diminished and that women’s issues and lives, more generally, are treated as inconsequential or erased entirely. But what do we do about it?

The ever-challenging, ever-less-profitable, ever-competitive field of writing and journalism, they say, is becoming “feminized.” What this means is that there are more and more young women entering (or attempting to enter) the field, but less and less money to be made.

Journalism has, for far too long, been dominated by privileged voices, notably, white men. It matters who tells our stories and it has mattered. Public discourse is shaped by those who are responsible for relaying news, ideas, and debates. Without the voices and perspectives of marginalized groups we’ve been left with a seriously one-sided view of the world and politics. We know this from, well, all of history. Our history was relayed by mostly white men who conveniently wrote women and marginalized people right out, painting themselves — the colonizers, the rapists, those responsible for the grotesque capitalism and white supremacy we continue to live with today — as heroes rather than villains.

Surely, an influx of women into the field of journalism would be a good thing. And indeed a great deal of lip service is offered with regard to women helping women get our work and our voices out there — to even the playing field. But which women are we talking about? Which voices?

When I started blogging, back in 2010, I was, admittedly, naive about the deep divides that exist between liberal and radical feminists. I still struggle with how to name those divides properly. I refer to those who refuse to make obvious connections between various forms of violence against women and who work to decontexualize our collective subordination as “liberal feminists,” “sex-positive feminists,” or “third wave feminists,” never wholly sure of the most accurate label. I realize this is because what I actually believe is that, if you can’t (or won’t) connect the dots between prostitution, pornography, rape culture, sexual harassment, objectification, femicide, colonization, domestic abuse and, more generally, female subordination, you are not a part of this movement — the feminist one. In other words, it’s not that you’re doing it wrong, it’s that you’re not doing it at all.

Feminism is a real thing. It means something. It is a particular analysis. It is not whatever any individual says it is or wants it to be. It is not “inclusive.” It is not everything nor should it be — if feminism is everything then it is nothing. It is not about framing misogyny as empowerment because it makes us feel better. It is a movement. It is political. It is what we call the woman-led fight to end patriarchy and male violence against women.

So when we talk about getting women’s voices into journalism, it’s worth asking whether or not those voices are feminist ones or not. “Women’s voices,” in and of themselves, are worthwhile because women are people (fact!) and deserve to be heard and to contribute to public discourse. But while American liberals are busily creating networks and conferences and Facebook groups to support “women writers,” all the while pretending this is some “feminist” effort, what they are not admitting to is that, they are, in many ways, effectively replicating the old boys club of yesteryear, just this time, with women.

When I first started writing about feminism back in 2010, I had no idea my words would be so controversial. I thought I was simply stating the obvious: sexualized violence sexualizes violence, simulated misogyny is still misogyny, objectification turns women into things — things that exist to be looked at, fucked, abused — not humans. And so I was shocked at how vehemently I was attacked for saying these things. What was once feminism — the feminism of our second wave sisters — had become unspeakable.

I hadn’t learned the rules before throwing myself in the deep end. I started to get published at a few places but noticed that none of the bigger liberal American platforms (even the leftist ones) were publishing critiques of the sex industry or even of objectification and the male gaze. Strange. They must not be aware these critiques exist, I thought. Perhaps they hadn’t heard of the Nordic model — perhaps it hadn’t occurred to them that rape porn could be connected to rape culture. I knew it was uncool to call sexy selfies narcissistic and to argue that, while burlesque might make you feel pretty, pasties subverted nothing at all, but didn’t realize I actually was not allowed to say such things.

So I pitched and pitched and pitched and was ignored more often than not. In some cases the rejections were vaguely clear enough to convey that _____.com would not publish articles that criticized the legalization of prostitution or critiqued “Belle Knox feminism” or questioned the popular “sex work is work” mantra. The sites that were dominating the conversation around feminism and the women who worked for these sites were not, in fact, “helping other women” — they were helping their friends, friends who held the same political ideology, who thought prostitution was fun and cool, who didn’t dare question the party line, who could afford to hang about in New York City on their parent’s dime, shmoozing with those who held the reins to the tightly-knit New York media cabal. They were heavily invested in attacks on the second wave and in promoting a marketable version of “feminism” that supported capitalism, boobs, and boners.

At first I thought it was all in my head, but it wasn’t. I’d been blackballed. My words had broken the unspoken rule all young female journalists and writers were to follow: keep it light, keep it sexy, don’t dare to move beyond the Twitter mantras that passed for “feminism” these days. If you want to write about “whorephobia” and “slut-shaming,” great. Even better if you can write about how radical Slutwalk is and point to all the “agency” of your white, rich “sex worker” friends. But to say anything else was to bite the hands that feed you. Liberal feminists and sex industry advocates had become one in the same and the media reflected that.

Oddly (not oddly at all), the vilification and blackballing I was subjected to was similar (but on a much larger scale) to my experience of speaking out about my own abuse. I thought I was telling the truth, not knowing that the truth is unspeakable — that women’s truth is unspeakable.

While the numerous conferences, listservs, Facebook groups, and networks created for female journalists and writers have been, I’m sure, enormously helpful for some, they also suffer from something that has long kept women out of traditionally male fields: cronyism. The women who’ve managed to “make it” deny this, but if we’re real about who is being supported, lifted up, whose labour is made visible and whose is intentionally erased (even in conversations about that visibility) — it’s not “women,” it’s women who have played the game.

Back in August, there was an incredible brouhaha over a piece by journalist, Melody Kramer, called, “A list of every hidden journalism-related social media group I could find.” Her supposed crime was to have included on her list a secret (but not secret at all — the group was written about by Emily Greenberg in Vogue last year and by Jonathan Chait in January), invite-only Facebook group called “Binders Full of Women Writers.” Now, this is no trivial group — it contains over 31,000 members. It’s professed purpose “is to allow writers to network and exchange tips, and to expand the number of female writers published across the industry.”

Kramer’s aim was, she said, to open the doors to those who aren’t in the know — who aren’t part of that in-crowd I mentioned earlier. “I’m a big fan of getting new voices into journalism and keeping them there,” she writes.

“One of the ways to help level the existing playing field is to make sure everyone knows about the groups that already exist. Many of these groups are not well-advertised and are hard to find, particularly if you’re a freelancer or new to the field.”

Addressing that longstanding boys club and consequent bias in reporting and story-telling is no easy task but surely kicking down the invisible walls and doors that have kept us all out for so long is a start.

Yet Kramer was ripped to shreds by the group’s members simply for acknowledging its existence. She was kicked out of a group whose “ground rules,” as Greenberg outlined, stress “a  ‘laid-back’ and ‘no pressure’ environment” with an “About” section that reads, “All women, genderqueer, and nonbinary identifying writers are welcome, as is self-promotion, pal-promotion, open conversation, and other methods and means intended to ‘take down the patriarchy.'”

Take down the patriarchy, eh? So long as you keep those load-bearing walls up, don’t knock down the foundations, maybe just move the furniture around a bit, paint the walls a nice sunny yellow, and rent out one of the rooms to make a quick buck…

Journalists have fought for transparency, accountability, and access for generations. Yet the liberal media and the women who are part of that in-crowd are working against access and accountability rather than for it.

In The Guardian, Barbara Ehrenreich pointed out that only the rich can afford to write about poverty. The reality she discusses, wherein journalists “can’t muster up expenses to even start on the articles, photo-essays and videos they want to do, much less find an outlet to cover the costs of doing them,” is one I can very much relate to. Though I do make part of my income, today, from my writing, most days I can’t afford even to pitch, never mind do the work required for the pittance I will be offered in exchange for an article, if accepted. I quite literally could not afford to do what I knew I needed to in order to advance my own career. I couldn’t move to New York and work for free at the right internships — hell, I couldn’t even afford to finish journalism school, set up so that it is impossible to attend part-time, ensuring that it will mainly be populated by folks in their early 20s who have a free place to live and are subsidized by their families.

There are millions more who are far less privileged than I and so it amuses me (in a rather ragey way) to see young, middle class, American women blathering on about “privilege” and “marginalized voices” on Twitter within the safety and comfort of their family money, Ivy League educations, fancy internships, and gifted property. It’s no mere coincidence that these women and men are the same ones who write articles for Playboy and Jezebel about how empowering “sex work” is and call anyone who disagrees a variety of names that all amount to anti-feminist cliches about “prudes” and “man-haters.” (We hear you — you love dick. That’s not a politic. That’s something insecure 19-year-olds say because they want to be cool.)

So we have an in-crowd that consists mostly of privileged, American, liberal women, based in New York, who have turned cronyism into “feminism,” rejected women who question the patriarchal and capitalist status quo, and have turned words like “diversity,” “inclusivity,” and “privilege” into media careers.

But let’s go back to Binders for a moment — that professional networking tool for female and “gender non-conforming” journalists and writers.

Moderator and admin of the Binders Full of Women Writers Facebook group, Lux Alptraum, is an Ivy League alum who was the CEO, owner, and editor of porn blog, Fleshbot (until she sold the site to SK Intertainment in 2014). She is an outspoken pro-porn and pro-prostitution advocate who spends an awful lot of time presenting the sex industry as something “cool girls” are into and making derisive comments (or verbally attacking) about feminists who challenge it.

 

 

 

Alptraum has spun this group into BinderCon, a two-day “career-building event” that takes place annually in New York City and LA, sponsored by the online women’s magazine Bustle. It’s fair to say that she plays a notable role in terms of deciding who is allowed to network — and therefore who has access to jobs/work/viable careers in writing and journalism — and who is not.

So it’s no mere coincidence that women who speak out against prostitution and porn, like myself, are intentionally excluded from these groups and networks. It is, in fact, fully intentional.

And this is not only about jobs — who is paid to say what. It’s about who is heard, which voices are allowed to speak, whose stories are told, what kind of analysis is accessible, and what the parameters of discourse are. And the parameters of discourse are being set by sex industry lobbyists.

“You aren’t crazy,” is still a radical thing to say. Women are still socialized not to trust themselves or their sisters. It’s no accident that the actual feminist movement (not the Playboy Feminism, as I coined it recently in New Statesman, increasingly shoved down our throats) is under attack, erased and misrepresented by the liberal and even leftist media. It’s no accident that our work — women’s work, the work of the movement — is carefully removed from discourse by women already on the inside or women who are desperately trying to get in. It’s no coincidence that women who speak out against male violence are no-platformed, attacked, vilified, slandered, and have their employment threatened.

The new erasure is the same as the old, but this time they’re calling it “feminism.” A kind of “feminism” that is not only detached from the global feminist movement, but that actively works against it. That supports “diversity” but not a diversity of ideas. A kind of feminism that attacks radical women, only to turn around and sell books that regurgitate the arguments we were making all along (but minus the credit). A genius Con if there ever was one.

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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  • Barb Levesque

    Meghan – as an almost 60 year old feminist I can say you speak for me and probably others who despair that so-called feminists continue to support prostitution and porn and the blah blah blah blather about choice. You’re right. ” It’s not that you’re doing it wrong, it’s that you’re not doing it at all.” I appreciate everything you write and often feel uplifted by it. Those who embrace the “be nice” rules I and others fought so hard to break have no idea what damage they are causing. Thank you over and over again.

    • Meghan Murphy

      Thank YOU, Barb!

  • Ennis Demeter

    Great post. Thank you for being brave and for standing up for women and girls.

    • Meghan Murphy

      Solidarity

  • Rachel

    This is brilliant! Thank you so much for all you do. You have no idea how much strength I have found through your writing, and through other poster’s comments on here. I especially love – “Take down the patriarchy, eh? So long as you keep those load-bearing walls up, don’t knock down the foundations, maybe just move the furniture around a bit, paint the walls a nice sunny yellow, and rent out one of the rooms to make a quick buck…” Perfect analogy.

    • Meghan Murphy

      Thanks Rachel! Solidarity.

  • MLL69

    I am glad blogs exist and I can read you!

    • Meghan Murphy

      Thank you!

  • Meghan Murphy

    I will! And you should never stop writing.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Thanks Susan!

  • As feminists, I think it’s important that we acknowledge the problem(s) with women. The world as run by men is a horrible place, yes. I fear that it would be equally horrible — in different ways — if run by women. The male paradigm is all about status, rank, and jockeying to be top dog. It’s visible in even the lowest grades of elementary school. We live in a world that reflects that. The female paradigm is all about being part of a group and having loyalty to the group. Girls in elementary school form cliques and shun other girls as the ultimate punishment for non-conformity. Criticism is just not allowed. Ideas are subservient to personality. How does this happen? Given that this is not innate, but socially constructed, what are the messages society sends girls that causes such suffocating and hideous pressure to conform to groupthink? Eventually the herd of girls with its foggy cloud of acceptable ideas becomes dedicated to supporting and honouring the boys, but it exists for years before that. Why????? I think you’re right to begin attacking the cliquishness of the liberal feminist movement, rather than simply its current, mandatory thought. How can we deconstruct this aspect of girl conditioning?

    • Meghan Murphy

      It’s very troubling. Sometimes I see it has a response to the disempowerment women experience under patriarchy and sometimes I see it, particularly with regard to American liberal feminism, as very much connected to neoliberalism… It’s quite selfish. It’s about getting economic, social, and political privileges for ourselves but not for ALL women. It’s certainly short-sighted but, of course, liberal feminism is short-sighted.

      Women are not exempt from critique or from bad behaviour. Men rule the world, but when women are collaborators in capitalism/patriarchy/imperialism, it’s still important to be critical of that. If not, we’d have to let women like Margaret Thatcher slide.

      Cliquishness is a horrible thing. It’s not pro-woman or, really, pro-culture. It’s simply about feeling powerful.

    • Alienigena

      I think that men are pretty clique-ish too. I have worked in three fields independent filmmaking, education, and biological research (two which really shouldn’t be male dominated but are in my workpace). If you are out-numbered you will likely be the outsider in the bro-centric cliques they tend to form.

      • Meghan Murphy

        Oh yes totally. Male cliques are often very ‘no girls allowed.’

  • Misanthropia

    As a non white, Muslim feminist I feel marginalised in a way I can’t explain. When I criticise the sex industry and pornography and stripping and sexualised women’s fashion I’m shut down as a typical Muslim woman oppressed by the ‘puritanical Islamic values’. Never mind the fact that Muslim priests are allowed sexual partners and that Catholic priests are usually not. But I digress. I am branded as ‘not modern enough’ for a woman just because I can see what the sex industry for what it is. It seems that if you’re not shaking your ass for the guys or ‘expressing your sexuality’ by being a cam girl or a ‘sex worker’ you’re just a sad sex deprived woman. Never mind that I just don’t base my sexuality on pleasing men or want to gain approval from them. Never mind that ironically my Muslim clothing has given me more confidence than always spending a million hours on hair, waxing, and all that jazz and gives me comfort while some other girls are freezing in air conditioned places and are checking themselves more often. No, all that goes out the window because I’m a Muslim radical feminist, who is doubly attacked by Muslim misogynists and the misogynists of the left.

    • Hannah

      Me too, and I actually think a lot of my religious upbringing is in line with radical feminism. Obviously, patriarchy is everywhere and Muslim communities still have a lot of issues but I’m not sure I would love this blog and others like it if I was brought up differently. Not that it’s impossible obviously but for me, finding radical feminism had more of an impact and many of these ideas were things I was already thinking because of my religion.

    • Alienigena

      I don’t think having self respect has anything to do with one’s religious belief. I have always found mainstream values around sex from 1960s onward (even the roaring 1920s were sort of sleazy in North America, my grandmother left her husband because of physical abuse and pressure to participate in wife swapping sessions, everything old (and tawdry) is new again, think Ancient Rome).

      While there is freedom for men during sexual revolutions there is only ever increased expectation and another kind of oppression for women. I was not raised in a religious household but did have religious leanings from ages of 5 to 16 and attended a friend’s evangelical church in that age range as well as being confirmed in the Lutheran church. But I don’t think that that church had any impact on my values around sex. It had some dubious values around the rights of children though.

      Being a bit wary of people I tend not to want to get intimate at the drop of the hat. I remember someone I met in university residence during the summer asking me about N. American sexual mores as she was from Singapore and found them a bit overwhelming (she wasn’t specific but perhaps men had approached her for sex, I don’t know).

    • MotherBear84

      YES.YES.YES.YES.YES. Our objections to what Meghan calls “liberal feminism” are dismissed, blamed on religious repression and sex-hatred. I have so been there! I wonder why (no actually I DON’T wonder…) liberal/sex-poz “feminists” don’t realise how incredibly bigoted they are…

  • Jess Martin

    Fantastic article, Meghan.

    • Meghan Murphy

      Thanks Jess!! xoxo

  • wafflecones

    I come here everyday to read what you have to say. You give so many women strength and a voice, thank you sincerely.

    • Meghan Murphy

      I’m so touched. Thank you.

  • radwonka


    If being naked/having sex isn’t shameful, revenge porn loses its impact and we can stop talking about it”

    Yeah, because johns, pimps and doms RESPECT WOMEN SO MUCH. And if you don’t agree, then you are the problem./sarcasm/

    • Samantha

      That argument could conceivably be applied to rape too if she wanted to go full-on crazy with it. What a horrific way to completely dismiss those who’s privacy was and continues to be violated by revenge porn. It’s not shameful to have sex, but having your image stolen from you and vastly disseminated to nasty men everywhere is an abhorrent idea. I would feel so violated if I knew that any old dude out there could see me naked and as stolen wank material. What a braying ass.

      • Meghan Murphy

        That same argument IS applied to rape. By the pro-sex work faction! https://twitter.com/CathyReisenwitz/status/674258502764859392

        • Samantha

          So many sighs. All I can say is that she’s a sociopath. Anyone who would think that just doesn’t get humanity.

          *edit: Also, what in the actual fuck happened to feminism? The more I read her statements, the more horrified I became. Fantastic article. I had never considered the sex poz club in this way before and am even more worried than I already was. yikes.

  • Cassandra

    I loathe liberal feminism. I loathe the sex industry. I loathe the load of crap being fed to young women. Those tweets from Festival of Lux are horrifying. Talk about pulling the ladder up and gleefully stepping on the women below you. This is what capitalism does.

    Thank you, Meghan, for doing this work. Thank you for telling the truth. Radical feminism is the TRUTH.

    • Meghan Murphy

      Solidarity!

  • Meghan Murphy

    Solidarity, sister xx

  • Meghan Murphy

    Thank you so much. As Hilla Kerner always says: Until we win.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Wow! Thank you so much, Deb. Your words mean a lot to me.

  • Tesla Livia

    Forgot about “identity”.

  • Lucia Lola

    I will never tire saying that you are an incredible voice for feminism. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

    It’s because of you I began my journey to truth and the unravelling of the garbage I’ve been immersed in these past few years. It might not seem like it but there’s a lot of us former third wavers beginning to pay attention.

    • Meghan Murphy

      Solidarity, sister! And thanks for all your contributions here.

  • Maria Gatti

    This is an excellent article. There are universities here in Montréal with class schedules better-adapted to part-time worker-students (Université du Québec à Montréal and Concordia), but another serious problem is the unpaid internship. That pretty much ensures that young journalists will hail from the upper crust.

  • marv

    Praise to you Deb. I urge everyone as well to post the FC donation page to as many facebook and twitter sites as possible. People are often more generous this time of year. Opportunity is knocking. Let’s open the gates.

  • Barns

    I really love and appreciate this site. Great work. Reading liberal sex positive feminists arguments makes me so sad.

  • Zuzanna Smith

    “Sometimes I wish someone would come at me with a really good anti-porn argument because at least that would be an intellectual challenge.” Ugh how disingenuous can you be? Funfems get bent out of shape if someone makes a racist or sexist comment or when women are treated like cattle in the media but when it’s done in porn it’s cool and sexxy because money has changed hands. Money doesn’t make it alright, it makes it coercive and exploitative, there’s your argument.
    Meghan keep fighting the good fight, I believe in God because I believe in justice and you do God’s work, thank you;)

  • jdndcus

    Thank you for another thoughtful, provocative piece.

  • Persephone Jones

    It’s easy for them to be dismissive of the role sex trafficking plays in prostitution. Middle class white women like Lux Alptraum are not sex trafficked at high rates. So much for their claims of being intersectional.
    From a powerpoint presentation titled “Sex Trafficking: The Re-enslavement Of Black Girls”:

  • Brigitte

    arrrrgggggggggggggghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

    So glad you are writing and it is so important that their be critical voices like yours represented . BUT wow far out. I am so angry. Not that you abhor exploitation or degradation of women. Not that you make the connections between the sex industry and rape culture. All of that is true.

    BUT that you can’t see why it is important to empower sex workers, to make good laws protecting them and allowing them to self define. Why its important that porn becomes for women by women too and is regulated, to help stop rape and trafficking. That empowered sex workers are some of the best defense against human trafficking, rape and exploitation. That they should not be shamed or demonized but provided with legislation and tools for self protection.

    It is vitally important that women are no longer shamed for how they dress, for being sexual, for being a ‘slut’. We all have different needs or even just different times of our lives where our sexual expression will change. Nor for that matter shamed for saying no. Consent, informed, empowered consent is at the heart of all of these issues. No one should ever be able to say that because she is a sex worker she was asking for it or that her rights are any less than other women, nor that if you are dressed a certain way you were asking for assault or verbal abuse.

    What kind of blows me away is you do this with the idea that you are protecting marginalized groups from the selfish mislead intentions of liberal feminists and men. I can’t tell you how wrong you are. Yes you can end up in sex work because there is very little or no choice because of economic and even abuse backgrounds. It is so important that you be protected then. It helps no one to deny the reality or simply criminalize and shame these women.

    Nor does it seem that you are particularity well informed about the dire consequences for women of vilifying female sexuality in the past and present. Being demure, having no or not much interest in sex and not wanting to dress up is fine and powerful too. But suppressing others is dangerous and cruel. Its setting up and reinforcing the good woman bad woman paradigm that does nothing to do with undermining and smashing patriarchy.

    I am also not a big fan of cronyism. And you are right to point to that problem. Yet there is much to be said for appropriation and detournement. Its important women reclaim things like sex work, sex and porn for themselves. We need to have a voice and a say in these male centered fields too.

    You don’t get to be their voice. You speak of erasure but you are erasing other women and their fight for power. Kudos for being critical, horror at your oversimplification, and that your sense of indgnation and self righteousness can supersede vital legitimate political struggles for sex workers rights and the reclamation of sex by women.

  • MotherBear84

    I feel also like they use us so long as we serve them; as in, we make great mouthpieces for them to show off how open-minded they are, but as soon as we disagree, BAM we are dismissed as oppressed/stupid/mindless followers.