Liberals are usually feminists

Keyword: liberal feminism

Excerpts from a text published in the anthology “The Sexual Liberals and The Attack on Feminism”, edited by Dorchen Leidholdt and Janice G. Raymond in 1990. Complete text “Confronting the Liberal Lies About Prostitution” on radfem.org

WHISPER (Women Hurt In Systems Of Prostitution Engaged In Revolt) is a national organization of women who survived the sex industry. ... We chose this acronym because women in the prostitution system whisper to one another about the coercion, humiliation, sexual abuse and violence on which prostitution is based, while the myths about prostitution in pornography and the mainstream media outright be shouted out - and that by self-proclaimed "experts". This mythology (...) is illustrated by the ideology of the sex liberals who falsely claim that prostitution is a choice; that prostitution is the epitome of the sexual liberation of women; that the prostitutes would determine the sexual and economic conditions of their interactions with suitors; that pimps / prostitutes are mutually beneficial social and economic relationships in which women would voluntarily enter….

The sex liberals have developed three main arguments to explain away the central role of pimps in the recruitment of girls and women into so-called voluntary prostitution: "The pimp as manager"; "The pimp as a stigmatized minority"; "The pimp as lover and friend". All three models were adopted by Priscilla Alexander [who was never involved in prostitution herself] from the NTFP (National Task Force on Prostitution) and COYOTE (Cast Off Your Old Tired Ethics), as did Arlene Carmen and Howard Moody, who did this from the Pulpit at Judson Memorial Church and represented in their book "Working Women: The Subterranean World of Street Prostitution" (1985). Since their collective views are representative of the promotion of, and apology for, the commercial sexual exploitation of women in pornography and pornography, this is what I want to address.

... First we have to look at the myth that prostitution is just a job like any other. If the sex liberals have their way, then "Prostitution is a traditional female occupation that occurs every day and where biological desires and economic needs meet". Just as duplicitously they recommend us to see it as an “act that is primarily personal and intimate” and at the same time “one of the last bastions of small, independent, economically liberal capitalism” (Carmen / Moody, 1985). The fact that prostitution presupposes the objectification of the female body, which is sold in the market, removes it from the personal sphere. Rather, survivors have described the act of prostitution as "disgusting," "abusive," and "like rape," and stated that they had to learn to detach their minds from their bodies or use drugs and alcohol to numb their physical and emotional pain (WHISPER 1988). Accordingly, it would be more correct to see prostitution as intrusive, involuntary, and often openly violent sex that women endure, rather than viewing it as a “personal and intimate act”.

... The sex liberals (...) ignore the fact that prostitution survivors have repeatedly said (...) that they do not see prostitution as a profession. (…) Furthermore, this analysis does not take into account the social function of prostitution: extending the right of unconditional sexual access to women and girls to all men, in addition to the privileges enjoyed by husbands and fathers within the institution of marriage. These dynamics are understood by the women used in the prostitution system (...) as one survivor said (...): “I thought that women were on this earth to ensure the sexual pleasure of men in exchange for one Roof over your head and food in your stomach. "

Some sex liberals justify prostitution as an altruistic creation by Women of Color: "Black women are no strangers to prostitution," write Carmen and Moody. “In the 1920s and 1930s, every southern city had a red-light district across from the black ghetto, where young white boys discovered their masculinity with the help of a 'two-dollar whore'. (…) Prostitutes (…) integrated whites and blacks long before the civil rights movement ”Amazingly, Carmen and Moody view the buying and selling of“ black ”women by white men and their sons as the vanguard of desegregation. (...)

A WoC that survived prostitution, plus:

“They employed men [in the Indiana steel industry]. All the men got jobs in the steel mills there; however, only a few women. You had to be really cute or know someone, so there weren't any jobs in the field, no jobs in the offices unless you knew someone; but there were plenty of jobs for you in the strip clubs, as a dancer or in the restaurants and bars in front of the factories for when the boys came in. "

Racist stereotypes of WoC in pornography and racist policies that place pornographic bookstores, peep shows, topless bars and prostitution in poor black and ethnic minority neighborhoods create an environment where WoC are particularly vulnerable. (...)

The role of racism in recruiting women into the prostitution system and as an obstacle to their escape is complex and multifaceted. ...

"Prostitution involves an equation of sex and power," says COYOTE. But instead of recognizing the power of pimps and suitors over women who are used in prostitution, COYOTE claims an opposing arrangement: “For women / prostitutes, the power is the ability to determine their sexual conditions, as well as payment to demand for their time and skills ”(Priscilla Alexander) Grossly distorting feminism, Carmen and Moody claim:“ In a society where women are on the threshold of equality with men and not only begin to enjoy sex, but also decide when and with whom to have him, the prostitute becomes the embodiment of freedom that was previously only a fantasy ”. However, they expand their support of the male sexual imperative to measure the sexual freedom of women when they describe the superficial function of prostitutes as "(...) surrendering to the payment of the sexual fantasies of our brothers, fathers and sons". (...)

In fact, exploitation by pimps is being redefined by Alexander as an "employer-employee relationship in which several prostitutes hand over part or all of their income to a third party". (...)

In an attempt to turn straw into gold, the sex liberals spin an argument in defense of prostitution based on false assumptions and outright lies. They claim prostitution is both a manifestation of women's sexual freedom and gender equality. They claim women choose prostitution as a profession. They claim that women would determine both the sexual and financial interactions between themselves and the suitors. They claim pimps are small business leaders who can and should be held accountable through union negotiations.

When evaluating the data collected in the WHISPER Oral History Project, culturally supported tactics of power and control have emerged that promote the recruitment or coercion of women and children into prostitution and effectively prevent their exit. Thesis tactics include childhood sexual violence, rape, domestic violence, lack of education, workplace discrimination, poverty, racism, classism, sexism, heterosexism, and unequal enforcement of the law. The same tactics are used by individual men to keep women in abusive relationships outside of prostitution.

90% of the women who took part in the WHISPER Oral History Project reported a tremendous amount of physical and sexual violence experienced in their childhood. 90% in their families had been beaten. 74% experienced sexual violence between the ages of 3 and 14. In this group, 57% have experienced repeated sexual violence over a period of five years. 43% were victimized by two or three perpetrators; 93% were subjected to sexual violence by a family member. In addition, 50% of this group were subjected to sexual violence by a non-family member. (...)

Carmen and Moody try to acquit the pimps by creating a pseudo-psychological profile of these men. What is really important, they write, is “this man's self-image, the way he perceives himself in his relationship with the prostitute. (...) He does not see himself as a slave owner of women; He sees himself more as a businessman. (…) He runs a small business. ”And if we read on, we learn that in this business“ he usually decides to pay the women with goods and services rather than with money. ”This is equivalent to an analysis of sexual violence by asking the sex offender how he sees himself in relation to his victim: He will not see himself as a rapist, but rather see himself as a lover.

Carmen and Moody write about society's view of the pimp: “The pimp as a category of person suffers the same fate as other members of deviant and minority subcultures.” (…) They continue with what they consider true humiliation feel slavery: "White masters have socially castrated black men by not allowing them to run their own household and denying them access to white women." For Carmen and Moody, contemporary pimping by black men is a correction of a historical injustice : "The black pimp reversed the story," they explain. "He dominates black and white women [and has] demeaned the white man by making him pay for what white women freely give to the black man."

The racist paradigm (...) draws attention from the organized trafficking of women by white businessmen in America - the brothel operators in Nevada; Massage parlor and escort service operators across the United States; Owners and managers of bars, nightclubs and “dance studios” that promote prostitution; Operators of “Mail Order Bride” agencies; of organized, criminal networks who, in secret agreement with American GI`s, trade fraudulent Asian women in this country and lock them up in massage parlors; from the pornographers and the operators of the "peep shows" and "live sex shows"; and by the left, self-proclaimed revolutionaries who “kicked out” their female comrades in the 1960s and 1970s. (...)

The family serves as a training camp for prostitution. It is in the interests of the sex liberals, most of them husbands and / or fathers, to keep this institution intact. They protect them by enforcing privacy laws that protect men from encroaching on their absolute authority at home - just as those laws protect women’s right to act publicly through pornography.

In an attempt to deny men any responsibility for trafficking in women, Carmen and Moody argue that "it is a myth that the pimp is the primary reason women are in this life." They claim for prostitutes speak when they say: "(...) women vote much more often than not the man they want to be with and whom they give their money to) .... ) Women leave one pimp for another. ”(…) Alexander goes so far that she claims that“ young girls (runaways) willfully go to the big cities to find pimps… ”. (...)

Carmen and Moody describe the pimp as kind. You write: “The pimp plays a diverse role (...) in relation to his wives: (...) as a father who brings up his stubborn daughter ... [as] brother ... [as] lover. Perhaps the most important role is probably that (...) when he mimes the husband: "They claim:" He is desirable because she believes that he is a good provider who gives her the things she needs (...) and what she desires (...) and he will give her the ultimate gift - and let her have a child. "They put the blame on women when they say:" In the subculture of prostitution, the man is still the king a mountain, while the woman is a submissive servant, although for the most part a willing one. "

What Carmen and Moody are describing here is the traditional, patriarchal family, and in doing so they have subconsciously exposed the truth about prostitution. Prostitution is taught at home, socially validated by the sexual liberal ideology and enforced by both the church and the state. These are, so to speak, the male hierarchies of both the conservative right and the liberal left who work together here and teach women prostitution and keep them in it: the rights by demanding that women should be socially and sexually subordinate to the one man in marriage, and the Left by calling for women to be socially and sexually subordinate to all men through prostitution and pornography. The common goal is to maintain their power to own and control women, both in the private and public spheres.

Prostitution is not like anything else. Rather, everything else is like prostitution, because it is the model for the situation of women. The dividing line between the wife and the prostitute - Madonna and whore - is becoming increasingly blurred, starting with the attempts of women to free themselves from this double standard, which was disappointed by the adoption and promotion of the "Playboy philosophy" by the liberal left. This resulted in the replacement of the double standard with a single male standard in which sexual liberation became synonymous with the male, sexual objectification of and unconditional sexual access to women. With the penetration of pornographic cable programs and video cassettes into one's own home, the “good wife” is increasingly being equated with the “good whore”, as more and more women are urged to imitate the scenes from pornography. In this context, the wife is harassed, seduced and / or forced to take on the role of the prostitute, while the husband takes on the role of the client. Competitions by pornographers such as Hustler (...) and High Society (...) have led to a sharp increase in home porn. In this situation the woman is obliged to put herself in the role of the "porn queen", while the husband takes on the role of the pornographer. The rise of "swinger magazines" and "wife swap clubs" enables men to simultaneously take on the roles of suitor and pimp, paying for the use of one man's partner, and in exchange making their wife available to others. The final barrier to the separation of the roles of wife and prostitute is broken when men arrange sexual encounters with prostitutes that involve their wives. One prostitution survivor describes the dynamics of such an experience:

“Many men have enjoyed bringing me in as a third person with their wives. Usually we would end up watching some porn and he would say, "Ok, I want you to do this to my wife now." In these incidents, I felt the woman as a victim and that my job was her to hurt. I felt a real power play in which the husband obviously said to his wife: "If you don't do that, then I'll leave you." There were many nuances that spoke for manipulation and coercion. "

In each of these ways, prostitution symbolizes the worth of women in society. It is paradigmatic for social, sexual and economic subordination in that its status is the basis by which the worth of all women is measured, and to which all women can be reduced. The pay a man pays to harm the most despised women - prostitutes - sets the standard by which he can treat the women under his control - his wife and daughters. (...)

The role of prostitutes is taught to women individually and as a class through the social sanctioning of commercial sexual exploitation of women by pornographers, which maintains our second-class status and yet is touted by the sex liberals as the liberation of women. The data collected by the Oral History Project contradicts the sex liberals' argument that pornography is a harmless fantasy or sexually liberating entertainment, but instead suggests that pornography is an important factor in the habituation of women to prostitution. 52% of the women interviewed revealed that pornography played an important role in teaching them what would be expected of them as prostitutes. 30% said that their pimps regularly exposed them to pornographic material in order to indoctrinate them into accepting the practices depicted. One survivor stated:

"He used pornography to give me roles ... He said things like" I want you to look like this ".

The matter is completed by the use of pornography by clients. 80% of survivors reported that their clients showed them pornography to illustrate the sexual activities they had in mind, including sadomasochism, bondage, anal intercourse, urine and feces, pubic hair removal for the illusion of puberty. This information fits the testimony of prostitution survivors in public hearings and before commissions:

“Pornography was our textbook. We learned the tricks of the trade in which men exposed us to pornography and tried to make us imitate what we saw. We cannot stress enough what a huge impact that had. "

53% of the interviewees reported that their customers took pornographic pictures in addition to the sexual activity….

We, the women of WHISPER, escaped the brutality of the patriarchal family only to find ourselves exposed at the mercy of the pimps, couplers, and brokers who created a billion dollar industry to sell what ours are Fathers and husbands originally stole from us. We are here to expose the lie about prostitution that prostitution is the answer to the social, sexual and economic subordination of women. Prostitution is NOT a “job”.

“As I look at my life, I think of how I came into this world as a child, expecting to be fed, attracted, protected, and treated with respect and kindness like any other human being ... me don't think I came into this world wanting to be a prostitute.I think that's something that the dynamics of society have imposed on me. Something that I was taught. "

Prostitution is not a "victimless crime"

“Prostitution is violence against women ... it is the worst form of violence against women because you are being abused by the suitors, the pimps, and the police. The whole of society turns its back on you. "

Prostitution is a crime that men do to women (...). It is nothing less than the commercialization of the sexual violence and inequality that women suffer in the traditional family, and it cannot be anything else.

“The laws are made by men and men want to keep women in prostitution because they want to control them, so what could change prostitution is not legalizing it, but ending it and stopping it, and I don't think that Men want to do this. I think women have to do that. "

The dismantling of the institution of prostitution is the most demanding task for contemporary feminism.