My most popular post to date is “Feminism: Not Fucking Getting It…AGAIN! Part: Infinity“, with over 1,000 views and 50 comments. One particular comment by DD questioned my claims of the general twattery found in feminism. My responses, as I hope you read already, included denouncement of sex-positive feminism as well naming that facet of feminism as one that is not always sex worker friendly. Though I seemed to have burst DD’s feminism bubble somewhat, the person who really did the heavy lifting for me recently was Jessica Valenti.
Oh, nothing that she meant to do as I’m sure she doesn’t know I exist. I really don’t care one way or ‘tother. But in a recent column, the founder of the popular website Feministing, author of several books including one that attacks slut-shaming, and oft-identified “sex-positive feminist”, wrote an article for The Nation denouncing what she sees as rape culture in the wake of the recent scandal in Ohio as well as the truly horrendous gang rape of a young woman in India. All well and good.
Unsurprising to anyone who has been active in sex worker rights activism for more than a few years (though this is nonetheless tiresome and annoying), it didn’t take long for someone to blame sex work for rape culture. Specifically this person named, “Strip Clubs, porno, prostitution,” in the same breath as incest and sexual harassment, the same way social conservatives do with gay marriage. Oh wait, the commenter left out bestiality. Anyway, when I first read the article and its comments, somewhat breaking my own rule about reading comment threads, it was the fifth comment. As of this writing, it is further down. But at that earlier time, Valenti was still participating in the comment thread, that is to say, she was actively answering or refuting the claims of other commenters. And her answer to the spurious claim that paid sexual transactions create rape culture?
To the commenter DD, this is exactly what I mean. Here is a feminist who should ostensibly be on the side of sex workers doing nothing to defend our work against claims that it causes rape and is on equal footing with incest and sexual harassment. It’s the little gestures that count…both ways.