The gods help them who help themselves. - Aesop
There’s something I’ve been wanting to write about for a while now, but have avoided because I know it will provoke controversy. However, two things I recently read on AlterNet brought it to the front of my mind so I won’t stay quiet about it any longer. The first was Renegade Evolution’s essay about the total lack of attention to International Sex Worker Rights Day from those who call themselves our allies whenever it’s convenient for them:
Nary you mind that the way things are currently, however many sex workers could get robbed and raped tonight and have it laughed off by the law, nary you mind that sex workers pulled over by the law will be blackmailed into favors, nary you mind that sex workers of all races, genders, classes, political bent, religion, will still be seen by the majority of humanity as less than human themselves, nary you mind possession of condoms in the highly vaunted Swedish State is cause for arrest and possible immediate deportation. Nary you mind. It doesn’t rate…Hell, I thought it was a feminist issue. Apparently not…If you don’t really intend to be an ally and speak up and out, don’t call yourself one. Don’t use us when it’s convenient and forget us when it’s important. Easier for all of us in the long run.
The next was a link sent to me last Friday by regular reader Shelley to this February 24th post whose author felt the need to resurrect this ten-year-old news article in order to attack Pope Benedict’s recent statement that he believes atheism was a contributing factor in the Holocaust:
The Catholic Church in Rome made the extraordinary admission yesterday [March 20, 2001] that it is aware priests from at least 23 countries have been sexually abusing nuns. Most of the abuse has occurred in Africa, where priests vowed to celibacy, who previously sought out prostitutes, have preyed on nuns to avoid contracting the AIDS virus. Confidential Vatican reports obtained by the National Catholic Reporter…have revealed that members of the Catholic clergy have been exploiting their financial and spiritual authority to gain sexual favours from nuns, particularly those from the Third World who are more likely to be culturally conditioned to be subservient to men. The reports, some of which are recent and some of which have been in circulation for at least seven years, said that such priests had demanded sex in exchange for favours, such as certification to work in a given diocese. In extreme instances, the priests had made nuns pregnant and then encouraged them to have abortions…
Any moral person should be disgusted by this, and indeed AlterNet’s readers appear to have been. But not one of over 100 comments on the AlterNet piece seems to have bothered to read the second line of the linked article. Take a look down the comment thread; you’ll see plenty of anti-Catholic, radical atheist, neomarxist, neofeminist and knee-jerk “liberal” statements, and at least one repetition of the moronic “rape is not sexual” mantra, but not one single poster as much as mentioned the fact that these rapes were largely caused by the perceived lack of safe prostitutes (itself a problem largely caused by religious and/or masculine objections to condoms). AlterNet’s stated mission is to “inspire citizen action and advocacy on the environment, human rights and civil liberties, social justice, media, and health care issues.” But apparently, its readers don’t think the rights of prostitutes count; I guess raped nuns just make better poster children. What makes this even more disgusting is that the pope many of the replies seek to demonize appears to have a more sensible view of the situation than his AlterNet critics do. Remember our old friend harm reduction? Even the freaking POPE recognizes that tolerating prostitution is preferable to allowing nuns to be raped, but do AlterNet’s “progressive”, “liberal” readers? Of course not; they’d rather make stupid, ignorant, inflammatory statements than actually embrace tolerance of women’s employment choices.
Am I sounding angry yet? If not, it’s because I’m too ladylike to really express the full extent of my anger at soi-disant “liberals” and “feminists” who are too busy checking off little boxes on their lists of approved beliefs to actually speak out for the single most systematically oppressed group in the entire world, namely whores. A large portion of the fault for this lies with the neofeminists; their vulgar, foaming-at-the-mouth rants against us and dogmatic condemnation of our work as “paid rape” inspired the politically correct “progressive” position, and the basic human rights of real, flesh-and-blood women must be ignored in order to enforce our betters’ view of what’s good for us. But it’s not just them; one would think that of all people homosexuals would recognize our demand to be allowed to have sex on our own terms as intrinsically similar to their demand to be allowed to have sex on their own terms. But do they? Hell, no. Sex worker activists and even organizations like SWOP are always marching in “gay pride parades” and spending their energy, rhetoric and very limited funds on speaking out for so-called “LGBT” issues, but how often do “LGBT” activists return the favor unless male or transsexual prostitutes are involved? Almost never; they’re too damned busy pushing for the minutiae of their own agenda to fit a word in edgewise for even the largest concerns of ours. And how many of the prominent women parroting drivel about “choice” ever own up to the fact that a woman’s right to choose the REASON she has sex with a man is at least as important as birth control or abortion? Not one damned hypocritical bitch among them. A “What Is Choice?” page on the NARAL Pro-Choice America website lists abortion, birth control, sex education and “healthy pregnancies” as the only choice issues, completely ignoring a woman’s right to choose whom she wants to have sex with in the first fucking place!
Well, it has to stop. Now. Sex worker advocates need to concentrate on OUR rights and stop wasting our time, money and energy on “LGBT” and general feminist causes like abortion rights. Am I saying those causes are unimportant? Don’t you dare even imply I said such a thing or I swear to Aphrodite I’ll slap your silly face into next week. OF COURSE they’re important, but they’ve also got millions of dollars, scores of celebrity advocates, hundreds of legislators and many thousands of low-level activists behind them; they don’t need us. We, on the other hand, have only ourselves. The day that mainstream “gay rights” and feminist groups start consistently speaking out for prostitutes’ rights is the day I start giving a damn about “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and the concerns of white middle-class women in corporate jobs. Until then, I have my own sisters to worry about.