‘Sugar Sisters’ exemplifies the failures of third wave feminism

sugar sisters

A CBC documentary called Sugar Sisters: Confessions of a Sugar Baby aired on Thursday. The film claims to “explore the globally popular phenomenon of sugar dating,” something we’re told is “heavily stigmatized.” In watching Sugar Sisters, though, it became clear that “stigma” is not the problem, when it comes to sugar dating.

The creator of the film, Hannah Donegan, was also the central character, placing herself in the center of her own experiment. That experiment involved Hannah and her sisters, Amalia and Caroline, signing up for a “sugar dating” site in an effort to deal with their debt, without having to work multiple jobs.

Their efforts seemed either insincere or naive from the get go, as all three women seemed shocked when the men they went on “dates” with expressed interest in “more than just conversation.” Caroline, 20, and Amalia, 23, backed out pretty early on, deterred by middle aged men who expected to be dating only 19-year olds and who didn’t pay them for their time, which consisted only of dinner and conversation. In fact, all three sisters seemed entirely shocked when they weren’t immediately offered hundreds of dollars after sharing a meal with an older man.

Caroline was particularly grossed out by one man she went out with who started “making sex eyes” at her over dinner. The men were clearly, she complained, “just looking for someone to sleep with,” despite the fact she said she wasn’t looking for “anything physical.”

Hannah, 28, persevered. (I assume, for the interests of making the film.) A “sex-positive queer feminist” in a relationship with another woman, Hannah is super open minded about “sex work”… She just doesn’t want to have to do it herself. After talking to her mother about her decision to “sugar date,” she explains that her mother doesn’t approve because she is a “baby boomer who is uncomfortable with sugar babies and sex work.”

So this is what third wave feminism has brought us: the idea that cool, liberated, “feminist” women should be “comfortable” with prostitution. Interestingly, Hannah, like her sisters, turned out not to be so “comfortable” with the actual reality of having sex for money. She told the CBC that she was “empowered by the idea of owning her sexuality and making money off it,” but alas the reality of selling sex is not just a fun idea to talk about with your queer friends.

While Hannah believes that sugar dating isn’t only about sex, because “a lot of [men] are also just looking to talk and use you as a kind of therapist,” she admits that those men “try to push your boundaries, take advantage, and get more than agreed upon.”

Hannah eventually meets David, an older man who she gets along with enough to feel comfortable asking him to buy her jewellery and purses. He soon offers her exactly what she was looking for all these months: an allowance and trips to New York, where he lives.

But after flying out to New York to visit him, he takes her for dinner and asks her back to his place for a drink. Once she is at his apartment, she feels pressure to sleep with David, so takes off. “It’s hard not to feel obligated to sleep with him,” Hannah says. “He put so much money into me just being there.” Hannah was worried David wouldn’t feel like it was “worth it.”

What these “sex-positive queer feminists” seem not to realize is that an older man paying a much younger, financially vulnerable woman to spend time with him is not an egalitarian relationship. The reason these men are paying is because they don’t want a relationship with a woman who is their equal, who disagrees with them, challenges them, or holds them to account. These men pay because they want a woman to stroke their egos, to fake interest in him, and to acquiesce to his desires. They pay because they don’t want to have to be accountable, or to have to prioritize a woman’s needs, thoughts, and desires (outside the superficial). They also pay because they don’t want that power dynamic to change — if women had real power in this world, men would no longer have access to young, compliant women.

Hannah and her sisters come off as privileged, ignorant young women who have no idea how money and power work in patriarchy or in the sex industry. The fact that they could choose not to follow through and have sex with the men they “date” is a slap in the face to all the women out there who can’t “choose.” Nonetheless, they opt to use their privilege to perpetuate the idea that young women should feel not only “comfortable” but empowered by the idea of the sex trade, regardless of the actual realities of women and girls in it.

Not only does Sugar Sisters fail to explore the reasons why older, wealthy men seek out these kinds of “arrangements,” but it fails to question the assumption that supporting the system of prostitution is “empowering” and, therefore, a given for young “sex-postive queer feminist” types.

Hannah calls sugar dating “cashing in on patriarchy,” leaving me to wonder: How does selling your body and self to men who hold more power in this world than you do confront patriarchy in any way? The very basis of patriarchy is that women are things that men can buy, trade, own, and use, for their own purposes. The fact that sugar daddies are men and sugar babies are (largely) women, should be a tip off, in terms of where the power lies in these relationships. The notion that money somehow interrupts the basis for male supremacy is one of the greatest lies ever told.

Hannah concludes, “I realize that if I’m going to do it and get the big payoffs, then I’m going to have to sleep with these men.”

Indeed. And not only that, but you’re going to have to accept male dominance, within your relationships with these men as well as in a cultural sense. That third wave feminism seems unwilling to grapple with the larger context for their personal imagined “empowerment” has been one of its biggest failures. Hannah and her sisters are an excellent, if not depressing, example of this.

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.

Like this article? Tip Feminist Current!

Personal Info

Donation Total: $1

  • Rachel

    Brilliant article, that spells out the issues with young women trading their bodies and souls to men, seemingly by choice. I don’t mean to laugh, but I really can’t believe they thought the men just wanted their time, and someone to talk to. Even just something pretty to look at over dinner (something, not someone – there’s still issues even if it were just this). Very depressing indeed, especially seeing that Stephanie was worried that he felt the money he spent on her wasn’t worth it, because she didn’t have sex with him. Doesn’t that spell it out to lib fems? If this doesn’t, I don’t know what will.

    • jdndcus

      No, nothing is wrong; these individuals just weren’t the right women to do sex work. It’s odd how the impoverished and racialized are more likely to take to being whores… but, tonight, thank god it’s them instead of you, eh?

      • Rachel

        Exactly. It’s depressing – they don’t care as long as it’s not them that have to do it.

  • Rachel

    This is slightly off topic, but I’ve realised how much I hate being in the corporate world, and although I’m on a decent wage now, I feel powerless because I’ve sold my soul for money. I feel they have me by the throat and there’s no escape because I’m no longer qualified for anything, struggling even more with mental health issues, don’t know who to trust, and have lost myself so much that I don’t know what else to do to pay my bills. This has been soul crushing to me, so I can only imagine how it would feel to rely on men to pay you a living, especially with having to sleep with him. I think you made a good comment that she’s all for women selling their bodies for sex, it’s just not for her. Nail on the head.

    • Snork Maiden

      I’m sorry to hear your situation is so rough. Could you save up and retrain?

    • Tinfoil the Hat

      You’ll be all right. No woman can escape having to work within the patriarchy. That’s why patriarchy sucks. You do whatever you have to do. You need wages and a place to live and health care and food & drink and all the various and sundry things we ALL need. You’re not responsible for patriarchy; you alone can’t fix it, and its magnitude is DEVASTATING. A suggested mantra if you are struggling and doing the best you can, and still feel terrible: “Everything I do is okay, and there is nothing wrong with me.” It feels alone but you’re not alone!

      • therealcie

        Indeed. Even as a contractor, it still prevails. I work for one home health agency but the patient that I was working with transferred to another agency. I applied at that agency with the assumption that I would be doing fill-in work for the same patient while my current agency found me a new full-time case. Just last week I applied for a position I never thought I’d be able to land, but the first interview went well and I’m now going for a second interview. My case coordinator went bonkers when I emailed him to say that I was considering this new position and if they wanted to put someone else on the case they were considering me for, I’d understand. He acted more like a jealous boyfriend than a supervisor, telling me that I needed to declare my allegiance to the agency, and that when they find cases for me I’m expected to fill that position, not be looking for extra work. It isn’t that he’s sexually attracted to me. I’m probably 20 years older than he is, and I look far more like Eccentric Aunt Bedelia, or even Grandma, than some sort of “MILF.”
        I expressed my dismay at his reaction as he demanded to know why I hadn’t informed him earlier that I was still considering other work. I found myself explaining how my high-functioning autistic son still needs me to take him to appointments, how my new glaucoma medicine is making me queasy, how my brother had been in town–all stuff that his none of his damn business! Unless there is a serious emergency, I always show up at work, usually on time. I work extra hours. I was working 60 hours a week for the past month. I was flabbergasted.
        Most home care nurses are female, and most of the case coordinators are male. Even though they don’t expressly say it, they still expect us to defer to their male authority, even when we are old enough to be their mother.

        • Rachel

          Gosh that’s awful – how dare he even question you like that and demand that from you. Typical – male privilege as always. Glad to hear the first interview went well and hope the second one does too – crossed fingers for you.

      • Rachel

        Sorry, I just re-read my comment, and I didn’t mean to make it all about me and my situation. I know there are people far worse off than me, and I’m lucky to even have a half decent paying job! So sorry, what I was meaning to do, is relate in some way – that I know how I feel with wasting my life in the corporate world and feeling stuck. So I cannot even begin to imagine what other women in the world go through! Especially those who end up in the sex trade because they can’t find a living anywhere else. It was purely just meant as a relating situation but came off as whining. However, it is depressing that there’s pretty much no way out of the patriarchy, or even combatting it slightly, and that does get me down. I feel horrible for the way life is for so many less fortunate than me, and I think that’s part the reason why I hate the corporate world – it is the patriarchy. I just need to save and then work at helping others in need. Otherwise what is life for. Getting to the top doesn’t make you happy.

    • lk

      ” I feel powerless because I’ve sold my soul for money.”

      You haven’t sold your soul…you’re doing what we all have to do: surviving by doing what you need to do. It can really suck even if we don’t have to do things as awful as sell our bodies to men for men.

      Two things that work for me is volunteering and trying to do as much stuff that brings me happiness: I love reading and cartoons and movies and I do those things as much as I can! To save on money, I usually get my books and movies from my closest public library. Volunteering really helps me because helping another person reminds me that I am more than a cog in this capitalist machine.

      • Rachel

        Sorry for the rant, I wasn’t very clear in my meaning and it came off as whining. Probably been stuck in my own head too much lately. I know I am lucky to even have a half decent paying job. I actually really love my work – but I hate work politics and backstabbing coworkers who look for mistakes and pin things on you all to make themselves look better. There’s just so many fake and two faced people in the corporate world – and I feel like I could do so much more that would impact people in th business positively, but don’t get the chance because there’s the people that stomp all over you. So I feel I can’t be myself. And that’s why, if I feel so bad in a decent situation – I can only imagine what other women would feel like who have to actually sell their bodies to live. I think it’s because I used to do work helping people, but then made some mistakes in life, and ended up on this path – which on the surface is good. But is also meaningless. I have actually recently approached an agency to volunteer to help others, and am making plans to get back into the helping area – because otherwise what’s the point in life? You’re a slave to the system, to money, because you have to live to pay rent and mortgages and for food and bills – but then if life is meaningless – what’s the point in working in a job you hate, to pay for a life that doesn’t feel worth living. And if I feel this way – holy cow, my heart aches for the women being used by men for a bit of money to feed themselves or pay rent. It’s just a backwards and messed up world and it could be so much better for everyone. My aim is to use the money I can get now to set myself up with so security – so that I can then securely pay it back to people who need it more than me.

        • Cassandra

          You sound like me right now, a little bit, or a lot of bit, if it’s any consolation. I work in a slimy business and have to deal with the ethical disconnect every day. You work for the man or you marry the man. I work for the man to not marry the man, but it’s still the man.

        • lk

          Like Tinfoil said, you don’t owe us an apology nor do I think you’re whining!!

          Yes, there are women who have it worse than you or I. But the fact that someone has it worse than you doesn’t mean that you are not allowed to feel frustrated at being trapped in the rat race.

          I think many women in the world are doing things that we don’t really want to do simply to survive.

          I just try to find meaningfulness and joy wherever I can. Like, it makes me super happy to see all the people protesting at Standing Rock. It brings me happiness to remember that even though we live in a world where we are taught to step over, compete and crush each other in the pursuit of wealth…that many of use are rejecting that nonsense and helping and supporting each other.

          Nothing but solidarity and support for you!

  • Snork Maiden

    A man only spends vast sums trying to seduce a girl if he thinks she doesn’t need the money, if he knows she’s for sale, he’ll expect a quick return. To equate that with feminism is utterly absurd. Empowerment cannot lie in trying to rinse money out of men who earn more than you do, that just reinforces the power dynamic.

  • Zhompo

    Nothing justifies their stupid and wrong-headed feminism. And that they still don’t change their thought processes around prostitution after the experience.

    However, I have some sympathy with their nativity around these older men and the games those men play to trap younger women. The one tiny upshot of it being an “agreement” rather than just these pillars of the patriarchy exerting their influence to press women into their molds and bending them to their will (ie in the entertainment industry the stereotype of exchanging sex with men up the chain for promotions) is they can more readily identify they’re being used. Which isn’t always easy at age 20. Hannah, perhaps, should have known better.

    • Meghan Murphy

      I admit that when I was younger, I too felt it was “empowering” to get men to buy me things or pay for me. I was wrong, of course. It would be nice if women didn’t have to learn this the hard way.

      • It’s interesting. I have never really felt safe having men pay (except my brother, who is expected to when he visits because he knows I’m poor). But on the other hand, if there were any chance of getting pregnant, I would want some sign that he’d be supportive, and paying for dates without any expectation of sex would be a test for that. Also, if I don’t feel safe being treated, I probably wouldn’t feel safe having sex with him either. I wouldn’t call it empowering, though. I’m not sure what I’d call it.

        • Cassandra

          It’s hard to put a finger on, right? It’s all these mixed messages coming from your own brain.

        • Alienigena

          I have always considered males to be too violent to be people I would want to be around let alone try to extract favours from. I can count on one hand the things non-related males have purchased for me. I am not keen to accept anything from them .. because it creates in their mind a sense of obligation (even just to be their agony aunt and to have to listen to their kvetching, something they would never reciprocate). And my father was so cheap he could be a character out of Robert Louis Stevenson feeding his wards gruel every meal. My mother was always more generous with her time, an ear to bend and with the many meals she shared with me in my perpetual student phase.

    • Cassandra

      I completely agree with you. It’s hard to not feel very frustrated reading about this sugar shit and hearing Hannah go on, but this culture grooms women this way. It is almost impossible to see it when you are young because of the way the dynamics work. I have this theory that you just don’t really start understanding what’s going on until you’re at least 30, and I give women under 25 a great deal of leeway.

  • melissa

    “The reason these men are paying is because they don’t want a relationship with a woman who is their equal, who disagrees with them, challenges them, or holds them to account. ”

    Exactly .Its that simple. How do libfems not see the bleeding obvious is beyond me(a part of me thinks they can, but just don’t care at this point). And its not even just men that pay,but men from many different walks of life and worldviews, either fundamentalist religious men, 24/7 “Doms” or “Redpillers”(i dont know if people are aware of those on this page. Basically just like religious men and “Doms” that want submission in and out of the bedroom, but aren’t really religious or necessarily fetishists.Typically part of the Alt Right and MRA crew). I’d go as far to say, many of your average man would prefer to have it this way if they could.You already hear progressive men themselves calling prostitution just like marriages, but just more “honest” and without the “headache”(the headache being women behaving like free humans), or joke how they “don’t pay for the sex, but pay for her to leave after”. The one common thread with all of these men is always one thing, control.None of these men see anything wrong with treating women as lesser, as something to have power over and control in accordance to their wants and wishes.

    • lk

      “I’d go as far to say, many of your average man would prefer to have it this way if they could.”

      You’re right. A lot of men like to say that they want a woman who is their equal partner…but they don’t mean it.

      I think many men wish women were pretty robots who did whatever they were told and prostitutes and sugar babies are the closest men can get to that. They know these women will do and say what the men want to hear because they need the men’s money. Same with men who order mail order brides.

      What sucks is that women are constantly being fed the idea from so many ideologies that male control over females is ideal. There is all this talk about returning to tradition and how natural it is for women to be submissive and how empowering it is to be some guy’s property and etc.

    • Tired feminist

      The irony in this is that marriage DOES have a lot in common with prostitution. Both are patriarchal institutions designed to keep women as property of men.

      • melissa

        Yeah, they get perfectly self aware about these dynamic when it suits them.

    • Prank Fembleton

      “How do libfems not see the bleeding obvious is beyond me(a part of me thinks they can, but just don’t care at this point).”

      Because to acknowledge this is to recognize how little men think of women, even the educated, cool, conventionally attractive ones like themselves.

      • Meghan Murphy


  • Marla

    “Hannah and her sisters come off as privileged, ignorant young women who have no idea how money and power work in patriarchy or in the sex industry…”

    Somehow I don’t think that was their aim at least not entirely. I could not watch the video due it being “unavailable” outside of Canada but from what I read I can only assume that Hannah has no desire to change the patriarchal order but rather do her best to manipulate it. I’ve learned early on not to date men who are much older than me. Personally, do I not only feel uncomfortable for many a time they usually want something that is sexual or equates to being sexual like nursing a fetish and taking on a character role so they can see you more as a living fantasy rather than an actual human being. When you suddenly find yourself in a rather award position of apologizing because your boots happen to “turn him on” then yeah, it’s time to end that relationship.

    Hannah can’t seem to differentiate between what is her ideal of being a sugar baby is a about. The whole “power of pussy” power trip that men are gullible and women can clearly demonstrate that behavior if they use the right tack. Did she seriously believe there are men out there all ready to give her a Mercedes, a Manhattan apartment, a Prada bag and pay off her student loans without the reciprocation of sex? Or was she just there for the thrill of studying their reactions – you know, like another “social experiment” that leads to nowhere?

    Moreover, does labeling herself a bourgeois “sex-positive queer feminist” automatically grant her some kind of immunity from her actions? What in the hell does that even mean? Does it grant her a higher authority or complacency in the male dominated sex industry she so desperately tried to expose? If she believes it has, she has failed.

  • wincky59

    As long as there are men, there will be feminism. There are no waves, just a big tsunami, coming your way.

  • Jessica

    I find it pretty suspicious that Hannah would use “morality” as her crux for not participating in this male dominance scheme; as if the girls who then go ahead and “choose” to sleep with men for money have no morals? WTF? Talk about individual self-righteousness to the utmost.

    • Rachel

      Good point. I missed that initially.

    • Cassandra

      Yup. Super gross.

  • lk

    I remember watching Life with Lisa Ling and she had an episode about sugaring and surprise, surprise it was ALWAYS women who needed money agreeing to these arrangement’s relationships.

    Now if this was just about choice, wouldn’t you expect women and men from all kinds of economic backgrounds to sign up for this job?

    One thing I hate about any of these stories about sugaring is the language: companion, relationship, intimacy, mentor. Its exploitative and its prostitution that women are driven into because of financial need.

    And what I hate most is that these men won’t just admit that what they want is sex on demand..anytime you watch interviews with these men they are always like “I just want company”…Um, that’s some bs-if you want company date, make friends, spend time with family, volunteer, join an organization, get a pet!

    • Woman

      The women prey on their rich “Daddies” as well. If you make your living from the pockets of men you sleep with, or dine with then of course you’re playing a role in the power hierarchy.

      There is a huge difference between someone who is distraught, and sells their body, and someone who chooses to because they like the high-society perks.

      • Morag999

        “There is a huge difference between someone who is distraught, and sells their body, and someone who chooses to because they like the high-society perks.”

        Of course there’s a huge difference. But it’s not a difference which neatly turns the tables, allowing the more-privileged women, who are not forced into prostitution, to “prey on” the poor little rich daddies.

        A john is a john, and it’s ridiculous to imply any man, who has the power to pay a woman to fulfil his fantasies, is a victim of the woman he rents for his pleasure.

        Even worse is to imply that a woman who lives without the wolves at her door, without a boot on her neck, is as good as a predator herself. To imply that women un-encumbered by the ball-and-chain of poverty are potentially dangerous to men.

      • Leo

        Patriarchy fucks up better-off women as well. It’s internalised misogyny making these women think of their sexuality as a commodity, feeling they have to be cool with that idea, leading them to feel affirmed by the idea of being seen as ‘sexy’ (patriarchy-approved fuckable) by men they don’t even fancy, and by being bought ‘feminine’ trinkets. It’s not the same situation as being desperate for money, but internalised misogyny and the resultant lack of true self worth still makes these women the victims, not the Johns.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Yeah… The idea that getting money from men will somehow upend systems of power is ridiculous. I understand, of course, that individual women need to survive, but that is not the same argument as the one that claims you are somehow fucking with patriarchy if men pay women for sex.

  • Lucia Lola

    The cringe I feel, knowing I used to think the same way as these “third wave” feminists. The indoctrination is very, very real on campuses everywhere, and same with the media around us, folks.

  • gluon

    The things the women receive from the men such as shoes, purses, spa visits, etc. (as you listed) are all ways to enhance or improve a woman’s appearance/attractiveness. They raise the man’s status because “look at this pretty shiny object I have that I can adorn with other pretty shiny objects.”

  • Wren

    Never met an actual prostitute say or think that she was “empowered by the idea of owning her sexuality and making money off it.” That’s one from the storybooks, and one that bouge women like to toss around, thinking it makes them allies with so-called sex workers. It kind of cracks me up whenever I hear it. I can’t get to mad at these girls cause they’re so fucking stupid.

    Besides, the show sounds like it really flopped cause it didn’t hide reality (I’m not gonna make myself actually watch it). Any reasonable viewer would have seen through the girls’ pretense. The Lisa Ling article makes me much more upset, but that’s my take on it all.

  • Wren

    They have qualms about prostituting themselves because they actually don’t need to.

  • Wren

    DDLG?? God that is so fucking disgusting.

    And I can’t help but also have this thought: DO THEY JUST NEED A HOBBY???
    Like, who the fuck has time for all this??

    • melissa


      IKR??? You’d think any normal person would get tired of this shit eventually, but nope.They’re devoted to living in their make belief fantasy world and having it validated by others. Reminds me of the dude that liked living like a dog from time to time and claimed they had a “dog identity”(https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2016/may/25/secret-life-of-the-human-pups-the-men-who-live-as-dogs)

      Some people were making fun of it in the comments, and kinksters were comparing that to homophobia and saying how its probably like how homophones are often homosexual them-self. Because duh, why else would anyone find this utterly ridiculous, right?Surely they want to be dogs too 😛

      Also, there’s this huge trend porn of sexualizing incestuous, rapey daddy/little girl stuff. Its unapologetic-ally pedophilic, where they make these girls act and dress as 10 year olds(much like the “littles”) the have old men “destroy” them, but no DDLG isn’t pedophilia.Suggest that once and watch them loose their shit.They say “but they’ll never sleep with actual kids!!” , as if not raping real kids is such a high bar.As if that makes them not a pedo.


      • Cassandra

        OMG that needs a trigger warning. JFC what kind of assholes watch this?

        • melissa

          Sorry! forgot! Edited for TW.

          Your average Joe watches this. There’s also similar stuff like “purity”, “daughter destruction”, “little girls” and more with uncles, older brothers, dads friends, step dads, etc etc because ‘Teen’ or ‘Barely Legal’ probably wasn’t doing it anymore.Gail Dines was right. They just create and seek more and more fucked up shit to get the same high and sense of domination, even if it means going full pedo.

          And we wonder how our culture embraces “kinky” men talking about their pedo DDLG fantasy life style now? They’re all more or less the same. At-least they bothered discretion before, instead of wax poetic on about their creepy pedo sex fetish/relationship dynamic.

    • Prank Fembleton

      At this point, I’m ready for that Inception-style 24-7 virtual reality system. Hook these guys up, let them live in fantasyland and leave the rest of us to live in the real world.

  • melissa

    ” I’m also weirded out by how SMALL these folks try to make the “sub’s”
    world. The “dom” is the center and I guess the world ends at the front

    Basically, yes.Read these from the “little space” reddit and try not to vomit…



    I feel specially devastated for those children. This is nothing but child abuse, watching your mom act like a toddler, and your father having authority over her,ordering her around, “punishing her” right in-front of and right long with them. This is the example their parents are setting for them. I just wanted to throw up reading this. How the flying fuck did fucking “feminists” start condoning this crap? They rail against “kink shaming” but not a peep about this bs? They put biblical misogyny to shame.This is misogyny on steroids. urgh. And this is claimed as “who they are”, and apparently its “not an act” to dress, talk, act like a toddlers , with everything from coloring books, playing with toys, “binkies” being read bedtime stories, being “punished” and every child like behavior you can think of. I can’t help but wonder is these people are a bit mentally unwell, if they believe “little” is “who they are”. Or if these men are straight up pedophiles. How many of them inflict this kind of misogynistic freak show on children, i wonder. And of-course it will be a mere matter of choice when their kids “choose” inequality as well.

    A friend of mine was trying question some of this, and boy oh boy did that evoking some insane amount of rage.

  • melissa

    Yea, more and more these people are sounding like fundamentalist Christians singing the praises of submitting to men.Hell even conservative can make the connection( http://thefederalist.com/2015/02/13/the-bible-versus-fifty-shades-of-grey-on-female-submission/ )

    In any other context liberals would’ve called out the obvious misogyny and pedophilic garbage.(I mean just try reading anything from this reddit page, a bunch of grown as women impersonating children while claiming to be “who they are” and men that get off on it.( https://www.reddit.com/r/littlespace/ )


  • susannunes

    And the economy run by men makes sure women are denigrated in the labor force so that they will be forced into these living arrangements with men like marriage. They do it by starving them of living wages or enough pay women can live independently. Women are basically coerced into marriage, but almost all will deny the reality. Men then get sexual access in return, which is really all they care about, even more than free domestic labor.

    • Just Passing Through

      Exactly! The lack of living wage jobs is soooooooo by design. The poverty of “feminized” service sector jobs is absolutely intentional. The minimum wage not being raised… by design. Keeps women needing men who do have good earning power… ALL of it, by design. Pisses me off to no end. With the amount of time and the experience I have at my place of work should have me earning a good living by now, but since what I do is a majority female job position, I barely make ends meet. There is no Fkng reason on earth the work we do shouldn’t be compensated appropriately…the value placed on certain work is so arbitrary and ridiculous…. but that’s not the world we live in.. SIGH…..

      • susannunes

        And here there are “experts” on labor who try to come up with all kinds of reasons–excuses–why women make much less money than men (and the only reason the wage gap has narrowed at all is because men are making less money thanks to the gutting of unions and outsourcing). They don’t dare say the real reason women are paid less–because MEN AS A GROUP WANT IT THAT WAY. It ain’t rocket science.

      • susannunes

        Men find it a major slap in the face that women, especially het women, go it alone and reject the marriage and babies script. Remaining never married and het is an intensely political act. So unless women are born into privilege, it is almost impossible for them to survive without some man around. I know this firsthand. I have had to do everything on my own, but I never, ever wanted to spread my legs in order to have a better standard of living. And I never will although I will likely have to work until I die. Most women don’t question the notion of marriage. They don’t dare.

        • Cassandra

          “Men find it a major slap in the face that women, especially het women, go it alone and reject the marriage and babies script. Remaining never married and het is an intensely political act.”

          It’s definitely not the norm. I was talking to my gynecologist a few months back and she said something similar to me, something like, “You’re a walking political statement.” I’d never thought of it that way. It wasn’t like I set out to do it the way I have. I just always thought it was a raw deal for women and a very vulnerable position to be in when there are children involved, no matter how “rich” you and/or your husband are. Men can become abusive and cheat at any time, sometimes years later, and if you’ve given up working and/or you’re “older” you’re fucked.

          I met only one man I would have gone down that road with, but that didn’t work out and I never met anyone else that seemed worth as much or more than what I’d be giving up. (And now that some years have passed since that guy, I’m glad I didn’t do it; his mother was always buying me cookbooks. ;-))

    • Just Passing Through

      and yes I do understand there are some men stuck in low wage hell too, but as they are men, they stand a much better chance of moving up and out of those positions and they also have good paying trade jobs that they can rely on… just to pre-empt the “not all men” make $ comments.

    • Morag999

      “They do it by starving them of living wages or enough pay women can live independently. Women are basically coerced into marriage, but almost all will deny the reality. Men then get sexual access in return, which is really all they care about, even more than free domestic labor.”

      This is all true. Isn’t it romantic?

    • lk

      “Women are basically coerced into marriage, but almost all will deny the reality.”

      Women are coerced into it either economically or socially. Even when a woman is in a financial position to not need marriage, there is tremendous pressure on her to get married anyway. I feel like no matter what a woman achieves, we are made to feel as though it is some awful tragedy that we never got married.

  • Cassandra

    Apparently Hannah has never heard of men doing this since the dawn of patriarchy. It’s about the least uncharted territory ever.

    • Morag999

      Ha — I know! Why do so many people seem to believe that the world as we know it was invented about 15 minutes before they were born?

  • Cassandra

    A man was making “sex eyes” at her over dinner after meeting her on a “sugar dating” site? Look at the shocked look on my face! If only you could see how shocked I look.

    Hey, Hannah—by the off chance you’re reading this—you may want to learn the definitions of these terms:

    – False consciousness
    – Power: What it is and who has it?
    – Patriarchal bargain
    – Patriarchal reversal
    – Gas lighting

    Reading about these things with an open mind may open your eyes. There’s really no coherent meaning of “sex positive” when you’re female in a patriarchal world; you’ve been duped, but the truth will set you free.

  • Cassandra

    Again female “sexuality” = being fuckable. What a shit show.

    • radwonka

      and “feeling sexy”=”sexualising the whole female body for the dick”

      These people think they are original when they are just doing what patriarchy has always done to women

      • Cassandra

        Yup. Same old same old with a shiny new label fresh from the gas lighting factory.

  • Cassandra

    Yes, the idea of “sex positivity” perhaps had good intentions, but what so many women (and I was one of them!) avoid seeing/accepting is that men will never let women be sexually free and liberated on their own terms, without a huge price to pay, until patriarchy is dismantled.

    • radwonka

      yeah, I’ve never understood whats so positive about repetitive dick centered sexuality… like they cant even imagine something that doesnt involve the D smh

  • Prank Fembleton

    Though Hannah and her pals may deny it- in the pretense of female solidarity- this is so very much a class-borne issue. Women like Hannah see themselves as “above” prostitutuion, even as they claim to embrace so-called sex positivity and “sex work”; thus they are socially “above” the women who have to perform this work, just as they are “above” women who work as house cleaners, janitorial staff, fast food, etc.

    It doesn’t surprise me that they would ultimately chicken out on this little experiment, as it would take them a rung further down the ladder, and so much of liberal feminism depends upon a class structure that middle and upper class women cling to in order to maintain their social position. There must be someone below them in order for them to be distinguished from the rest of womankind.

    • Melanie

      ‘Sex workers’ themselves do this when they promote themselves as ‘high class escorts’, as opposed to ‘lowly’ street prostitutes. So much for not stigmatizing women in prostitution.

  • Marla

    “How can you call yourself a feminist if you not only ignore completely the cons of a work that directly endangers, kills and abuses women, but think it’s great?”

    Simply because there was nothing feminist about Hannah (and her sisters) ridiculous social experience to begin with. I was more concerned with exactly what she was trying to prove – if anything. So she wanted to find out what it was like to have a sugar daddy who would buy her all sorts of shit in exchange for pseudo therapy and companionship pretense. Does that sound feminist, much less documentary? If anything, it sounds like Hannah was bored with herself.

    I have yet to see her documentary and not sure if I want to but I can surmise she overlooked interviewing women who were also sugar baby wannabes at one time of their lives who did it out of survival and previous sexual abuse, not boredom. I wonder if their stories would be as condescending as hers.

  • melissa

    “I’m surprised here, because BDSM is really influenced by misogynistic religions”

    Exactly. Same language,eerily similar to religious jargon.Finding “power” in “surrender”, freeing yourself from talking on responsibilities and not having to call the shots(They say that like its a relaxing vacation for them when the man is “in charge”. Which is odd, since “surrender” usually entails getting ordered around, not sitting at a beach and being catered to.if that was indeed the only point, then it would be the man “pleasing” and serving the women, instead the other way around). Like you said, both are severely dishonest.They won’t say they like sadistic misogyny, they won’t say they like the idea of kidding fucking( I mean, they can’t make it more obvious if they tried. TW for gross pedo drawings from “little”…. https://www.reddit.com/r/littlespace/comments/5aosw2/i_drew_naughty_pictures_of_me_and_daddy_what_do/?st=iv13h7to&sh=e952856a). They’ll use bizarre romanticized, emotionally manipulative babble. They’ll still say they’re “equal” and a “feminist” even in sub/dom relationships, because they had the “choice” and they can do the bare minimum of stopping if they want. The amount of mental acrobatics it takes to say agreed upon inequality and subordination of women= equality and feminism, is beyond me.At-least it was a fringe before, now after 50 shades, and the liberal/feminist medias obsessive glorification of bdsm and their choice rhetoric, more and more girls are learning to “discover their inner submissive” and buy into this hogwash rhetoric. It no more raises an eye brow if a guy wants to hit or control you, because that’s sexy desirable,caring behavior from “dominant” men now.While just a few years ago you could easily point that out as plain old chauvinism and sadistic misogyny. An entire generation of young people are being indoctrinated into normalizing uneven power dynamics, no matter how far it goes. Men already grow up on watching male power fantasies, either in porn, action movies or video games etc. Now we’ve gotten the women eroticizing and proudly embracing female subordination and subservience.Every feminist that had worked hard to try to stamp out or minimize this kind of toxic mindset in our culture in the past, is rolling in their graves right.Beyond depressing. Sometimes i wish a meteor would hit us already. 😛 We’re just a constant fuck up, and women pay the price for it.


  • Rachel


  • lk

    “Studies demonstrate that pretty much all of the men who claim to be attracted to intelligent, independent women don’t actually want to date them.”

    I believe it…I think there are a *few* men out there who would genuinely love to have a romantic relationship with someone who he respects as his equal..not as a pretty thing to have on his arm or as his sexual plaything.

  • lk

    I wish I had some intelligent response to that stuff on reddit..but all I can think is : EWWWWW, GROSSS!!!!!!!

    It’s strange how much liberalism/progressivism has really become focused on keeping women as the sexual playthings of men….even though its under all this language of choice, empowerment, sexual freedom and etc.

    What’s empowering about having to prostitute to feed yourself? What’s empowering about pretending to be a child to give someone else sexual pleasure?

  • Tired feminist

    Athough most women in prostitution are in practice also owned by their pimps… these aren’t even ashamed to refer to them as “my women”.

  • Wren

    I missed that it was public broadcasting. Yeah, that changes it a bit. I thought it was another dumb, titillating cable show.

  • NagaMorich

    This is quite the face palm.

  • NagaMorich

    Not sure if you were referring to that Give your money to women
    movement/thing that was happening among the tumbleristas a while ago but
    it reminded me of that.

    Spot on. It’s just more identity politics, more materialism wrapped in sjw language, an excuse
    to take part in capitalist decadence.
    Its also the old as time divide and conquer strategy; if there’s no class analysis, no
    solidarity, we can’t organize and lobby and fight for our rights and ourliberation. WOC are told not to be in solidarity with white women, Black Women are told not to be in solidarity with WOC, Black Transwomen are told not to be in solidarity with Black women. What? So at the end of the day we are all individuals standing alone – neoliberalism has won.

  • Cassandra

    “I kind of miss the old me, she was a lot more fun but the woman I am now has self-respect & integrity.”

    I second this!

  • radwonka

    Well, they are third wave feminists. Libfem are more libertarians than liberals though, and they deny that gendered roles are a problem. They are the same people who love to call women “prudes” and “sluts” and whatnot. They also created movements like “slut walk” etc.

  • Morag999

    Gee, I never thought about that way. Perhaps the central tenets of the Men’s Rights Movement can, after all, bring a fresh and much-needed sense of perspective to feminism?

    I mean, “just pick the best mate and give him hot sex and babies” may sound crazy, but it just might work!

    Thanks “Woman.”