In the beginning:
God of compassion: your Son Jesus showed mercy to a woman condemned by harsh judgment, and gave her life. We pray for prostitutes, who are victims of lovelessness, or of a craving to be loved. Keep us from easy blame or cruel dismissal. May our church seek them out, and show such genuine friendship and true grace that they may know your welcome, and live among us, as sisters of Jesus Christ our Lord.
God? Could you maybe deliver them to understanding and acceptance instead? Because otherwise I will be easily blaming and crueling dismissing these people just as they do to others
And a little later:
With the advent of a new millennium and this report, the writing team thought it was important to begin asking questions about certain male behaviors: Why do men rape? Why do men frequent prostituted women? Why do men beat their wives and lovers? Why do men incest their daughters and granddaughters? Why do men urinate in public? There is one answer to all of these questions: Because they can. Even though all of these behaviors have been deemed criminal by our society, they are epidemic.
Of course! Because they can. And everyday that the fine upstanding Presbyterians manage to resist raping, incesting, beating, and urinating in public is a day that they get to feel superior to all those other less godly men who can’t manage to control themselves. Just in case you were wondering why other men support these bullshit lies – it’s so they can feel like paragons of self control for not raping women all the time like those unsaved non-christians do. It’s only the power of GOD that stops them from raping every woman they see. Let’s hope presby dudes don’t lose their faith, or it’ll be rape madness all over.
And what’s with the study from half a century ago?
Then further on:
Invite your friends to join you in taking the Prostitution Test (Appendix A). Find out what you already know and what you need to learn about prostitution and prostituted women.
Remember it takes two to “turn a trick.” Don’t blame the victim. Engage in conversation about the role of men in prostitution and sexual exploitation, not only as pimps, but also as clientele. Why do men frequent prostitutes? Why do men rape? Why do men commit incest? Why do men batter their wives and lovers? Why do men urinate in public? It is a form of exhibitionism.
You already asked me those questions, you penis obsessed pervert. And I already took your offensive test, fuckwit. And thanks for telling me to “know what I believe”, but I really don’t need a list from church to tell me that. Only moral inferiors need lists to tell them what to believe.
Know What You Believe
Establish for yourself and your congregation a list of your core beliefs about prostitution and sexual exploitation. The following list is from “Pornography: Far from the Song of Songs,” but there are others you can add:
• God is the source of human dignity;
• There is equal dignity of women and men as being created in the image of God;
• Human beings were created with the possibility for the ultimate acts of celebration and joy in sexuality;
• God calls human beings to positive expressions of mutual affirmation and commitment, especially as typified in the calling to faithful, respectful marital and family relationships;
• The historic pattern of dominance and subjugation in human relationships is a distortion of God’s intended creation;
• God’s gift of sexual pleasure is fulfilled in acts of human love and mutual respect;
• God demands sexual responsibility, balancing love for the self and love for the other;
• God calls us to promote the dignity of all persons and to confront the circumstances in society that negate the integrity of human life;
• Christians are called to model the covenantal, compassionate community;
• The love of Jesus Christ is the Good News, (and brings) empowerment to a world filled with conflict, alienation, and fear.
Would it be impolite, or improper of me to ask people if they are pushing a religious agenda when they talk about “dignity” and use those other buzz words we hear all the time? Because it seems like maybe it’s sort of impolite for these moralist shitfucks to go around trying to turn us all into sisters of Jesus, especially since they are doing it for the glory of a god I don’t believe in at all. I’d really like to start calling them out on what I know is their real agenda.
Can I try to force them to smoke weed and sleep around, and conform to my personal faith? No, probably not…
I’m getting pretty goddamned sick of this murderous religious persecution that is being committed against sex workers with decency laws trussed up as anti-trafficking efforts.
And I’m getting pretty goddamned sick of the psychological warfare being waged on sexually liberated women of all feminist persuations by rape prevention scare campaigns that have convinced a generation of young women that they are LUCKY to find a man who isn’t a rapist.
I’m pretty sure she’d only say such things if she was being coerced. The bold is mine, the purple is me.
Originally Aired: 7/7/1995 Transcript Only
MR. WATTENBERG: Let us move on to the more general state of feminism today, and I want to read you something that Mrs. DanQuayle, Marilyn Quayle, read at the 1992 Republican convention in Houston, which caused a great deal of consternation, and get your reaction to it. Mrs. Quayle said: ‘ I sometimes think that the liberals are always so angry because they believed the grandiose promises of the liberation movement. They’re disappointed because most women do not wish to be liberated from their essential natures as women. Most of us love being mothers or wives, which gives our lives a richness that few men or women get from professional accomplishments alone, nor has it made for a better society to liberate men from their obligations as husbands or fathers.’
MS. MacKINNON: Well, I’m not a liberal so I don’t — and I think she may be right in her analysis of, you know, that response or not. I think as to the substance of what she’s saying about the liberation movement, if she’s referring to the women’s movement, which she appears to be, that there’s a real mis-impression that what the women’s movement is about is deciding that what freedom for women constitutes is wholly and exclusively engaging in what had been male roles before that time.
We’re having two different arguments, them and us, the negs and the progs, they believe it’s all criminal, we don’t. They want to make sure that the women they deem criminal aren’t treated as criminals, they’ve constructed this theory to make that possible, seen most obviously in those “end the demand” programs that target sex buyers instead of sex sellers.
It’s a wrong-headed, shortsighted, ignorant and extremely dangerous way to try to keep the exchange criminal while decriminalizing one of the participants. To do that they have to paint the person being “decriminalized” as someone who wouldn’t take part in the exchange if she had any choice. That, right there, is using women, painting them as stupid or foolish or weak, to uphold the status quo.
The only “status quo” they say no to is the status quo of the seller getting charged with a crime. They want to criminalize the buyer, and de-criminalize the seller, regardless of legality. They tell men who buy from legal establishments that what they are doing is still criminal, a crime against women. The status quo of “the exchange is wrong” remains, and they fight like hell against that being changed. Selling sex has always been considered criminal. They will not consider changing that status quo. Anyone who suggests changing that status quo is the enemy of Judeo-Christian interests and Radical Feminist interests alike.
It should be simple, if you strip away the tall tales and terrible but trues, the fact remains that most sex-workers are women, and if you fight against their rights, you are fighting against women’s rights. If you think it’s ok because it’s for a woman’s own good, or for all women’s protection – then you sound just like a woman-controlling oppressive conservative christian. They say it’s because the bible says women need protecting, what’s your reason? Does your reason hold up under scrutiny better than christian biblical claims hold up? Are you afraid they don’t, so you won’t even bother scrutinizing?
progressive, not regressive.
Sex-prog. I dig it. I hate sex positive, because frankly, you don’t have to like sex to want to challenge and change attitudes about sexuality. If you asked most of the people who know me, irl, they’d tell you I’m a big prude. It’s just a ‘been there done that’ ‘do you think you invented blowjobs?’ sort of prudishness, but comes out in the way I roll my eyes or sigh when some young whippersnapper starts telling a story. Online, I know not to type out a message and hit send unless I have something at least helpful to say, or unless I’m pissed off way past sighs and eyerolls.
A few weeks ago I was telling my buddy that they are calling types like me “fun-fems” and he almost shat himself with laughter. I can be quite funny, but nobody would ever call me fun.
And ha, yeah, sexually-progressive is totally what it is, because the so-called progressives pushing the attitude that women’s bodies and sexuality are responsible for rape-culture aren’t progressive in any way, that stuff is totally regressive, repressive and another word that conveys the same general idea but I am to lazy to think of right now. It’s straight out of the bible – in fact that stuff is the best known stuff out of the bible.
I read the other day, about purity balls, and pledges and the writer (it might have been the yes means yes blog) said something like how they focus on ‘virginity as a commodity’ or something, which I agree with, but that commodity argument is what is always used against prostitution – that it devalues a woman because her sex is a commodity… which is the same thing, right, whether it’s a christian teaching saying to keep your purity for your husband, or anti-prostitution types saying… wait what….. see lost again. What the fuck oh yeah! But it’s all based on who is doing the commodifying? The religious leaders? the person who has that particular sex organ on their body? Regressive feminist leadership?
Yes, the pro-sex, prog-sex, sex-prog, sex-proggies let them call us! We at least aren’t regressive.
What sort of crap is that anyway? That the christians hate loose women, and so do the ‘radical’ regressive feminisms – one group because of the bible, and the other group because of rape-culture. And both groups are scared shitless of all things evolutionary. Biology, psychology or what have you. Doesn’t help much that the evolutionary biologists and evolutionary psychologists are too busy hating each other to team up and score one for evolution in general.
I want a change, I want something very very new, the opposite of it all, a real overturning of the real status quo – that status quo that says only women poisoned by the devil or patriachy like sex. That says women who devalue sex, and are willing to sell it or use it for whatever purpose they choose are bad women. They are fine women. Not in spite of it. Not because of it. I want to get to where it is not a factor, in anything, unless it’s used to hurt someone else. As it should be for men as well. As it is for men.
And that’s what gets me, (apparently a lot of things get me) – the total hypocrisy and the outlandish way it is justified.
Dialogue’n yer ass:
The hypocrisy is that women have a right to autonomy – except the intersected sexual and economical autonomy that is prostitution.
And that’s FEMINISTS saying that?! Wha?! How does that make sense?
Because it hurts women.
Trains men to expect sex.
What? You mean trains them to pay for sex?
No it trains them to take it.
Wait. What? but….
Yes, they get used to just being able to go have sex whenever they want to.
And that’s bad for who?
It’s bad for women.
All women, everywhere.
Because it trains men to think they are entitled to sex.
Oh. But wait, I’m still confused…
That’s what they do, they confuse you. They are smart that way.
Ah. I was thinking it was YOU that was trying to confuse me….
I only want to help you understand. Even you do not really do these, we call them ‘performances’, because you want to do them, you think you do because it’s natural for you to want attention or to be loved or valued, but men, this male culture of ours, has so convinced you that the only way – or the easiest way – to do it is by using your sexuality. It’s what we’ve all been taught. But, you see, because it’s been going on for so long, when you reward men with your sexual performance, it re-inforces the culture that allows them to do that, you reward them for their hard work of training women to use their sexuality to gain approval. Women are starting to wake up and notice this.
Ok, well, that actually makes a lot of sense…
4 months later…
Ok, ummmm, remember you were saying how we’re all trained?
Yes, yes, have you been noticing it now?
I sure have, all over the place. But…
It’s overwhelming isn’t it?
Quite. But… I still don’t really understand how prostitution is the same thing as being convinced to perform, really, I mean don’t they want to perform for the money?
Well, of course, it’s for the money. How sad is that though? Why should a woman be reduced to selling sex to earn money? If she had another way to earn money, wouldn’t she choose that?
Eh, well, it’s a lot of money though, for the time you put in… I don’t think there are many other jobs that pay that much…
You can’t measure it in time put in, you have to also measure it in psychological trauma, and wear and tear to the body, and you have to remember that so many of these women are terribly abused, and no amount of money can be worth that price.
Sounds terrible, put that way – but is it really like that? how do you know they get abused?
We’ve done the research, almost all of them have been abused, or they have drug addictions that their pimps take advantage of, and most of them tell us they’ve been raped – these are the things these women tell us.
Well, I actually know a prostitute, not very well, but she never seemed like she had those problems, and I know she doesn’t have a pimp….
She’s very lucky then. Many women who were abused as children seem as if they’ve dealt with the trauma just fine, until you realize that they are selling themselves to the highest bidder like a piece of meat.
Hey now, I’m pretty sure she wasn’t abused when she was a kid, I know about her life, just not her life as a prostitute…
Do you think she would want to talk about it with you? Culture teaches women to be ashamed about their sexuality, so they learn to not complain about their victimization at the hands of men, especially their fathers.
Well, yeah, I guess you’re right about that…
Hi, remember me?
I sure do.
I talked to my friend, and told her what you said and she got kinda mad about it. She said she wasn’t abused, and even if she had been it wouldn’t mean she sells it because she’s all trauma’d out and stuff.
Hmm. Like I said, she’s very lucky. It’s rare, but the stereotype is true every now and then, that prostituted women have chosen to do that to themselves.
Well, we find it helps to get the message across that these women are victims, not criminals, they haven’t chosen that life.
But she chose it, she says…
It’s really a choice out of no choice, nobody would choose it if there was a better option.
I see. But… well, nevermind…. I wonder though, besides if prostitutes get abused or do drugs, how does that make men get used to expecting sex? Or however it was you put it?
Well, think about pornography, which is just prostitution on film -
oh, ok -
Pornography effects many many women, the men, they watch it, and bring those attitudes into the bedroom they share with women like you and me, and they impose those pornography promoted behaviors onto us, in the way they demand lingerie, make-up, even the sex acts they see in pornos.
Yeah, my guy sometimes asks “why don’t you do this or that” it’s annoying…
See, that is a real problem, it effects us all, average women, women who didn’t make the choice to do pornography, women who have worked hard to be taken seriously for their accomplishments, and we are made to feel as if the most important thing, or the only thing that matters is whether or not we are sexually appealing.
Ok, so yeah, I get that, but what sort of guys are you with that they don’t just respect your wishes, if you tell him not to expect you to be a porn star because you’re not a porn star, if they keep hassling you, they are jerks and you should tell them to scram, right? If he demands porny stuff, you demand respect.
Ha! You’re quite a dreamer! That’s back to the basic problem – we can’t demand respect, because he can just go out and find a prostituted woman and buy the right to use her any way he wants to.
Ha! well you’re a dreamer too if you think men get to do ‘whatever they want’ even with a prostitute.
They can. There is no denying that – a man can go out and find a woman who will do anything for him for a sum of money – he can find a child to buy if that’s what he wants to have sex with.
Wow. That’s not even remotely the same thing. A guy going out and finding someone willing to give him a blowjob and he’s willing to give her some money, it doesn’t have anything to do with children.
You think you can seperate the two things? You can’t it’s all sex, sex that men feel entitled too… The same thing that enables a man to go out and buy a woman for sex, enables him to buy a child.
But what thing is that – what “enables” it?
The cultural attitude that he can. The attitude that it’s just “no big deal” if a man is able to buy sex, or rape a woman, or beat a woman.
What? How can you conflate all those things? And the way you say it, as if everyone already agrees with you? I don’t think buying sex is the same as rape, or abuse, or even buying children for sex.
Well, it’s not the same really, it’s more of a cause.
Holy shit. Wait, so my friend, who chose to make money this way, for whatever reason – let’s says she’s out of her mind on crack even – that her choice out of no choice to do that causes rape and abuse and child rape too? Lady, you are cruisin’ for a bruisin’.
Please I don’t appreciate your threats.
Your threats of physical violence, that you want to bruise me.
Yeah, um, that was pretty much a joke.
Ah yes, a joke. I’m willing to engage with you, but I won’t put up with threats of violence. I’ve been threatened by people who don’t like what I say for years already.
Well, that might have something to do with your criteria.
It’s rape culture that creates the criteria, this attitude that violence is ok.
I don’t think violence is ok, but neither is saying that prostitution is the same as rape, or causes rape, or any of the horrible things you said.
I agree. They are horrible things to say. And to hear, the truth is always hard to hear.
Oh you are good. – It’s not true, I don’t believe it. It doesn’t make sense.
It’s difficult to come to terms with, it’s such a huge problem that it’s easier to pretend it doesn’t exist.
I say I don’t believe it, you don’t bother asking me why, you just explain to me why I don’t believe it? That it’s hard to deal with? That I’m pretending?
Well, there isn’t any other plausible reason for it.
Reason for what, even – rape? rape-culture? men expecting, feeling entitled to sex? – you’re accusation that I am “pretending IT doesn’t exist” – what is the “it” there?
Women’s oppression, all the ways that they are oppressed is the “it” there.
So, prostitution causes women’s oppression?
In a way yes, it re-inforces it, promotes it, and we won’t be able to liberate women from oppression – truly liberate them – until all the things that promote their oppression are stopped. Ended. Destroyed. Abolished.
Yes, well, that was actually a lot of nothing that you just said there.
What about it was “nothing”? The idea that women shouldn’t be oppressed? The idea that women being oppressed is unstoppable or natural or “god’s will” or some such other patriarchal nonsense like that.
It’s hard to keep up with you, you know.
I’ve been told that before – but it’s only that I’ve been working against that oppression for so long, I know the arguments by heart
Who uses the “god’s will” argument to defend prostitution? God’s will types are against prostitution too.
True, it’s one of the few things they got right. God’s will types think that women’s oppression is “god’s will” not specifically that prostitution is god’s will
I still don’t understand what is supposed to be the cause of it though, of any of it, what makes rape and abuse happen then?
It’s a cultural conditioning, that tells men it’s ok to take sex, and tells women not to complain about it.
But why? Who first decided to do that? Did men just one day decide to rape all the women and lock us up in a room and we’re all just decendents with stockholm syndrome handed down from our mothers?
In a way, yes.
What do you MEAN “in a way”? In what way? And why, in ‘that’ way, or in any way? Why did men originally “want” to oppress women?
I’ve been doing some reading, as usual… and came across this essay:
“What’s a nice girl like you?” was the usual reaction of men to my becoming a feminist as well as my becoming a prostitute. The difference for me was I chose to be a feminist, but I decided to work as a prostitute after being labeled officially by a misogynist judge in San Francisco at age twenty-five. It was 1962. I said in court, “Your honor, I never turned a trick in my life!” he responded, “Anyone who knows the language is obviously a professional.” My crime was I knew too much to be nice girl.
The video isn’t embeddable you can watch it here (update: maybe you can watch it, the page is giving me trouble now, says it has errors) It’s 51:24 in duration, including introduction and question and answer portion. I’ve transcribed only Ms. Dworkin’s prepared speech, beginning at 3:30, below, and my thoughts on what she said follow:
Well, that’s what you get, I guess. Really, this “Stupak” uproar – you uproarers – that’s what you get. Yeah, I woke up feeling a tad bitter – so apologies right off the bat for expressing myself thusly, but; fuckin’ a, that’s what you get when you don’t fight for the rights of all women.
How can any feminist expect to be ‘given’ rights over her uterus if she doesn’t also demand rights over her vagina? We’ve given these people, these anti-choicers, so much when it comes to women’s sexual rights that it will be impossible to get reproductive rights.