Your WTF of the Day

7 04 2009

The UN anti-trafficking protocol, courtesy of the lovely Born Whore.

Now, I know what you may be thinking. “How can you oppose anti-trafficking measures?”

Scroll to page 6. You’ll see “highlights”.

“That the consent of a victim of trafficking is irrelevant (Art. 3b)”

Wait, what? I thought the definition of trafficking was that it was non-consensual.

Apparently not. Apparently, crossing any border to engage in sex work is considered trafficking.

What the fuck is this shit?

First of all, it’s racist in that it really only targets sex workers from outside the Western world. Like, if someone moved from Ireland to Canada, and was a sex worker, would anyone consider that trafficking? Probably not – because the assumption is that women of certain races and ethnicities can make their own decisions, and others cannot. Eww.

Of course, this is all written (or at least summarized) by Janice G. Raymond.


Oh, the hypocrisy.

9 07 2008

Kyle Payne (thanks to Ren and Belledame for posting this) is just your average anti-pornography activist. You know, is one of those feminist male “allies” who, clearly, just cares about the women.

Except, maybe not.

You see, Kyle was arrested for breaking into the room of a female university student, and assaulting her while she was unconscious. He then admitted, “with an intent to arouse my sexual desire, I photographed and filmed Jane Doe and her breast without her consent.”

Um, what? Mr. anti-porn, who is against people consensually performing in porn (but apparently it can’t ever be consensual, according to Gail Dines et al, because no woman in her right mind would ever do that), took a kind of porny picture of a woman without her consent. That, and he had child pornography on his computer. That’s right, folks, not even good old 2257-compliant, consensually made adult porn, but child porn.

Wow. The hypocrisy here is just overwhelming. To echo what Trinity said, I always figured one of these anti-porn types would be caught with some garden-variety Jenna Jameson DVDs. Or have a few too many one night and end up having a “thing” with a porn star. Not, you know, be found with child pornography and/or be arrested for sexual assault.

The fail abounds. And, yes, I know I say that a lot, but this is the biggest pile of fail I’ve seen in a while.

Who wants to take bets on how long it’s going to be before he blames the whole thing on the Evil Porn Culture?

In all seriousness, my heart goes out to the victim. I’m trying not to mock the situation inappropriately, because, honestly, it’s terrible.

Here are other bloggers spreading the truth about Kyle Payne:

Teenage Sex Panic, part eleventy-seven

26 06 2008

So I’m sure almost everyone has heard of the somewhat mythical “Teenage Pregnancy Pact” by now. In fact, I’m not even going to link any stories about it. In case you somehow don’t know about it – Google is your friend.

Anyways, the media (and followers of it), are having a classic moral panic. If there was indeed some “pregnancy pact” (and as more is revealed, it’s sounding like more and more like somewhat of an urban legend – see Rainbow Parties), that’s messed up. There. I said it. But what would make it messed up is not that teens were having sex – it’s that they were missing enough love and validation in their lives to seemingly “need” the unconditional love that having a baby would bring. That, and they don’t seem terribly intelligent or mature.

By the way… IT’S. NOT. ABOUT. JUNO. Or Jamie Lynn Spears. Give me a break.

Why is everyone so afraid to be even the slightest bit positive about teenage sexuality? Let’s get this straight: unprotected sex is bad. Sex before you’re ready, or for reasons other than simply wanting to have sex (i.e. societal pressure or pressure from your partner), is probably also not the greatest idea. But, as said before, teenagers are sexual beings. And, no, admitting that does not mean that you want to have sex with teenagers. Teens will have sex, regardless of what scare tactics you use to dissuade them, and, as Seinfeld would say, not that there’s anything wrong with that. So, good sex education and readily available sex education is in everyone’s best interest.

Back to the moral panic. Am I the only one who’s realized how sexist it is? It always surrounds the fact that the pristine innocence of young girls is being tarnished. Girls are losing their virginity* in high school! Girls are dressing slutty! Girls are giving blowjobs! And, yes, while some girls do said things because they have low self-esteem, are trying to impress their friends or their partners, a lot aren’t. For example, some girls (some, not all) enjoy giving oral sex, or at least, don’t mind it. And, apparently, the boys reciprocate more than you might think, according to what I’ve read.

Oh yeah, a quick note to the media: IT’S NOT ALWAYS WITH A BOY! Us crazy queers do have sex too, and for the queer girls, it’s not just with boys, because we’re miserable and closeted. Some of us have sex with women! And you can date, or sleep with boys, and still be queer. Bisexuality, pansexuality, and general non-descript queerness do exist, and it’s not just because it’s “trendy” either. Transpeople exist too – of course, not a lot of people consider that, outside of concern of the “Oh my god, you’re so unusual!” variety.

Wow. Am I getting off-track here, or what?

Anyways my point is: before you freak out about it, teenage sexuality isn’t as big a problem as you make it out to be.

*I hate the concept of “virginity”. But that is another rant for another time.

You know, sometimes I feel like being an evil libertarian.

23 06 2008

This is not to say that I support libertarian economic policy. But I think libertarians have it right on some things. I really do.

There was a mildly cringe-worthy thread over at Feministe a while ago about whether certain (consensual) sex acts can be considered properly feminist or not.

In these kind of “debates”, there are a few terms which keep popping up. You know, you have to “examine” or “analyze” or question why you happen to be doing this or that. And usually, this or that is some kind of sexual activity other people happen to not like. Usually, it’s BDSM or other powerplay or whatever isn’t considered properly “feminist”.

This is pretty insulting on a bunch of levels. As Ren pointed out a while ago, these cries of “But you have to examine!” assume that people who are into certain kinds of sex haven’t done their analysis already.

But, here’s my main point.

There is a time when you need to stop analyzing and just let people live their damn lives. No, not everyone has pristine feminist thoughts in their head while they’re fucking. As long as what they’re doing is safe, sane and consensual (and no, just because you wouldn’t do it doesn’t make it insane), I think it’s time to back off. Really. It’s none of your business. It’s probably a lot less un-feminist than you think. I know of a lot of kinky folk who are feminists, and a lot of vanilla folks who are misogynist assholes. Contrary to popular belief, what people do in the bedroom (or bathroom, or kitchen, or living room, or local bathouse) tends to stay there. At least that’s what I think.

As a feminist, I’m sick of hearing that “XYZ is a tool of the patriarchy”. You know what else is a tool of the patriarchy? Telling people how to fuck!

“Choice” was so ten years ago.

18 05 2008

Something has been bothering me for a while about certain sections of the feminist movement.

Remember “choice”? You know, what we were fighting for a bunch of years ago? Well, it seems to have gone out of style.

Sure, anyone will still valiantly defend your right to choose certain things related to reproductive health; namely, birth control and abortion. Unless we’re talking about “pro-life feminists” (shudder). But, especially lately, a lot of choices aren’t seen as nearly as valid. Specifically, choosing to do things certain feminists don’t approve of.

You know what I mean. Choose to have an abortion, or become an engineer? Good on ya! Choose to wear something revealing, be tied up, or be a stripper or porn star? Suddenly, you lose your ability to choose that. You know, because it’s all a product of brainwashing by the patriarchy.

I’ll definitely admit that sexism does influence our choices sometimes. So does racism, homophobia, transphobia, and ableism, and whatever other internalized prejudices one might have. But those aren’t always the only reasons someone might choose to do something (especially something you don’t particularly like or approve of). And, really, when it comes to women in porn or sex work or whatever, do people who call themselves “feminists” really think women are that weak and unintelligent? That they’re so brainwashed by the patriarchy that they couldn’t possibly make a choice of their own?

And as for choices that aren’t frowned upon? Well, I’ll be the first to admit that people don’t always have the most pristine of motives for, say, having abortions. Like, you know, wealthy families who don’t want a kid with Down Syndrome because they’ll never graduate from Princeton. Is it a choice I would make? Probably not. Is it influenced by a lot of ableism? Probably. Am I going to badger them constantly, and tell them how wrong and brainwashed they are? Hell no. It’s not my place to judge, let alone harass them over it. Which is why I distanced myself from a lot of the pro-lifers at Aspies for Freedom – but that is another rant for another time.

You know, it’s hugely ironic when certain feminists go on about “choice”. Then, when someone chooses something they don’t like, that person’s ability to choose suddenly vaporizes.

At some point, regardless of the motives they might have, we have to step back and let other people make their own decisions. Especially when those people are telling you to back off.

When I say I’m pro-choice, I mean it. And it’s not just about abortion.

On that UK porn law, and free expression

13 05 2008

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last couple of months, you’ve probably heard of the new UK porn law.

First: Overview of the new law. Essentially, it bans “extreme” porn, including acts that appear to be “life-threatening”, or likely to cause serious injury to certain body parts.

Never mind the fact that it’s overly vague, which is the kiss of death in terms of criminal law. And the fact that porn doesn’t kill people, people kill people. In fact, I heard that Graham Coutts had violent impulses years before even looking at porn.

I’m really worried about what this law means for free expression.

I’ll be perfectly honest – I would probably not be comfortable with porn that is overly violent (not in a consensual BDSM way, but just violent), or implies a clear lack of consent. While, personally, I’d be fine with a portrayal of consensual BDSM, I think “rape porn” is pretty socially irresponsible. And, if I were ever to watch it (I wouldn’t), I would probably find it extremely disturbing.

But then again, I find most graphic, gory violence disturbing. I once had to leave the room while we were watching “Saving Private Ryan”, because the blood and gore was making me feel ill.

But you know what? It’s a personal preference. And I hardly know everything, so I’d never want to make the rules for other people. Some people hate watching a lot of sex in TV or movies. I don’t mind it, and occasionally enjoy it. It doesn’t make me or someone who doesn’t like it right or wrong. It’s a personal thing.

As much as I might personally dislike much of the porn being banned, I think the freedom of speech and expression is a fundamental part of any democratic society. And, to the dismay of some, this freedom includes the freedom to say or show things other people may not like. I have a big problem with censoring any kind of cultural product (unless it depicts an actual violent crime being comitted, such as porn actually made without the performer’s consent), because it’s a huge slippery slope, in terms of restricting people’s basic constitutional rights. And, if the Butler Decision taught us anything, it’s that these kinds of laws tend to backfire. Horribly. They often target the people they were supposedly meant to protect – and my instinct tells me this is going to target a lot of stuff made for women, by women. Which is terribly ironic for a law that’s supposed to protect women.

As I said before, I have a big problem with restricting freedom of expression. So this law, even though it might seem like a good idea to some, scares the crap out of me.


Yes. I’m pissed off.

3 05 2008

So, if you haven’t heard, “D.C. Madam” Deborah Jeane Palfrey committed suicide.

This whole situation is fucked up. And some people’s reactions (or lack therof), are even more fucked up.

It just hit me that certain “radical feminist” bloggers, while pretending to just disagree with the sex industry (which isn’t my point of view, but hey, I can respect that), really just hate sex workers.

Like, when they accuse RenEv of not being a real person. Or, when a member of a certain message board called sex workers “retarded”. That’s right, folks, ableism and sex worker hate in the same sentence!

And then, I suppose, are people who react differently. I know this probably sounds bad, but it creeps me out a little when male feminists become involved in the “plight” of sex workers (how awful it must be to be a whore), and consequently, treat female sex workers like children (which is kind of a patriarchal in itself). You know, I really hate it when people say “Well, we protect children, why not women”. Umm…no. How the hell patronizing is that? Full grown women are not children.

Another characteristic of some of these anti-“pornstitution” folks is ignoring the voice of any sex worker they don’t agree with. Or saying, if someone does choose to be a sex worker (and choose is the operative word here), it must because of their mommy/daddy issues or blatant stupidity. Again, it’s so condescending it makes my head hurt.

And no. Do not say “Her death was tragic, but…”. No. Don’t accuse her of being a “pimp”.

And I’ve noticed a lot of silence on this, too. Because, again, some people only choose to see what they want to.

I heard Palfrey was facing up to 55 years in prison. For what? We don’t give those kind of sentences to armed robbers and child molesters.

Fuck. I’m really not loving the “morality police” right now. Not that I ever liked them. But I’m quite pissed off at the moment.

I think Amber Rhea said it better than I ever could.