The act which men commonly perform on prostituted women is penis-in-vagina sexual intercourse. There is nothing “natural” about that act. - Sheila Jeffreys
The first part of the report I excerpted in yesterday’s column discusses Sheila Jeffreys, Australia’s best-known anti-prostitution fanatic. Because prostitution is legal in Australia, Jeffreys is widely recognized as the emotionally disturbed lunatic she is and the report presents her as such:
In her book, The Idea of Prostitution, she argued that…clients of sex workers (or in her terminology ‘prostituted women’) are more accurately described as ‘batterers’, ‘rapists’, and ‘prostitution abusers’. In the same book, Jeffreys made the quite startling claim that: “The act which men commonly perform on prostituted women is penis-in-vagina sexual intercourse. There is nothing ‘natural’ about that act”. This is consistent with, “her firm belief that men maintain power over women by the act of sexual intercourse, and that heterosexuality is therefore bad for women”. In 1979, she stated that feminists who sleep with men are enemy collaborationists and to her sexuality is the basis of oppression of women by men. Consistent with this belief, Jeffreys has described marriage as a form of prostitution, whereby women guarantee men sex in return for subsistence. Even in today’s society, in which women are better educated and hold professional employment, Jeffreys contends that, “the right of men to women’s bodies for sexual use has not gone but remains an assumption at the basis of heterosexual relationships”. In essence, Jeffreys regards every married woman as a prostitute. In 1973, Jeffreys decided to abandon both her heterosexuality and femininity. She has said: “I gave up beauty practices, supported by the strength of thousands of heterosexual and lesbian women around me who were also rejecting them. I stopped dying my hair…and cut it short. I stopped wearing make-up. I stopped wearing high heels and, eventually, gave up skirts. I stopped shaving my armpits and legs”…Jeffreys has also argued that western beauty practices such as makeup, high heels, and cosmetic surgery, are harmful cultural practices…
Most American politicians undoubtedly recognize the extremist insanity of American neofeminists, but because they are politically useful they are allowed to speak before legislatures and other government organs and everyone in those assemblies pretends that the poisonous filth they spew is something other than the hateful product of diseased minds. But since the Australian government has no need for Jeffreys or her ilk, she is presented as she actually is and damned by her own words. Today’s column follows in that same vein; I’ve assembled a few quotes from other neofeminists in order to show the true colors of those who oppose women’s right to sex work (both in prostitution and porn).
The best example of the way American politicians conveniently ignore the fanaticism, appalling misandry and sheer ugliness of prohibitionists is Donna M. Hughes, architect of recriminalization in Rhode Island and bridge between soi-disant conservatives and radical feminists. In a number of articles and speeches Hughes has displayed a shocking level of racism (especially toward Asians and Germans) and prejudice against women who are sexual, even referring to respected sex educator Megan J. Andelloux in these words: “Then a tattooed woman, calling herself a “sexologist and sex educator,” spoke against the [criminalization] bill. She is also a reporter for a prostitutes’ magazine called $pread. (I couldn’t make this stuff up!)” But bigotry is actually the least of Hughes’ faults; she is inordinately fond of scare quotes (using them even for such common words as “good”, “bad” and “it”), enamored of weird, cumbersome passive-voice constructions such as “information about finding women in prostitution,” and so obsessed with the word “pimp” that she often emits strange phrases like “woman pimp” or “pimp agency”. But IMHO the strangest of her oddities is her bizarre tendency to describe mundane ideas and actions using portentous language so as to make them sound sinister:
Men write about “good” and “bad” experiences buying women in prostitution. They have “good” experiences when women comply with everything the men want them to do, focus all their attention on the men, and pretend they like the men and enjoy the sex acts (sometimes known as a GFE – “GirlFriend Experience”)…Men have “bad” experiences when women will not do everything they want, or are disinterested, perfunctory, and try to minimize the physical contact with them.
In other words, a customer paying for a service is satisfied when the service provider is friendly, competent and responsive to his preferences, and dissatisfied when the service provider is rude and performs badly. I somehow doubt Miss Hughes would consider a rude mechanic who ignored her complaints and failed to fix her car to be a “good” mechanic, yet this paragraph implies that the buyer of a service has no right to expect to get what he paid for.
Here are a few other choice and representative quotes revealing the true mindset of some of the women who want to control other women’s bodies and minds:
When the sex war is won prostitutes should be shot as collaborators for their terrible betrayal of all women.
Pornography, most often, dehumanizes women. It reduces us to fetishized objects and provides a blueprint and support network for men who commit acts of sexual terrorism.
(Though this quote is fairly typical neofeminist anti-porn rhetoric, it is notable in that Craft has a long history of using her First Amendment right to free speech to speak out against the First Amendment).
The man “makes hate” to the woman, as each sex act is designed to deliver the maximum amount of degradation. Whether it be aggressive fellatio or violent sodomy, the goal of porn sex is to illustrate how much power he has over her. Yet the women are still portrayed as enjoying these scenes. Images like these are commonplace on the internet and shape the way men think about sex, relationships and intimacy.
Heterosexual intercourse is the pure, formalized expression of contempt for women’s bodies.
Marriage as an institution developed from rape as a practice.
One can know everything and still be unable to accept the fact that sex and murder are fused in the male consciousness, so that the one without the imminent possibly of the other is unthinkable and impossible.
Romance is rape embellished with meaningful looks.
Under patriarchy, no woman is safe to live her life, or to love, or to mother children. Under patriarchy, every woman is a victim, past, present, and future. Under patriarchy, every woman’s daughter is a victim, past, present, and future. Under patriarchy, every woman’s son is her potential betrayer and also the inevitable rapist or exploiter of another woman.
(Yet, Dworkin apologists now insist that “she never hated men.”)
Just as we know that violent men from all social classes batter women, so we also know that the difference between pimps who terrorize women on the street and pimps in business suits who terrorize women in gentlemen’s clubs is a difference in class only, not a difference in woman hating.
Women who ‘choose’ prostitution are sexually abused as kids at much higher rates than other women…Other ways that they ‘choose prostitution’ include poor or no education and no job that pays the rent. Prostitution is a choice based on lack of survival options.
(The first quote is from an argument against harm reduction policies such as condom distribution, the second from a tirade against strippers and the third from a denial that women like me [or most other sex worker advocates] actually exist).
When a woman reaches orgasm with a man she is only collaborating with the patriarchal system, eroticizing her own oppression…
Empirically, all pornography is made under conditions of inequality based on sex, overwhelmingly by poor, desperate, homeless, pimped women who were sexually abused as children.
Men who are in prison for rape…were put in jail for something very little different from what most men do most of the time and call it sex. The only difference is they got caught.
Prostitution, when unmotivated by economic need, might well be defined as a species of psychological addiction, built on self-hatred through repetitions of the act of sale by which a whore is defined.
I claim that rape exists any time sexual intercourse occurs when it has not been initiated by the woman, out of her own genuine affection and desire.
I feel that ‘man-hating’ is an honorable and viable political act, that the oppressed have a right to class-hatred against the class that is oppressing them.
Pornography is the theory, and rape the practice.