Money is not a substitute for consent

by Feminist at Sea

Whenever the issue of prostitution is broached, people often refer to it as a “job like any other”. “Most” or “all people hate their jobs”, is the phrase that rolls off the tongue without much consideration and they ask the person who frames prostitution as institutionalized rape “would you be doing the kind of work you do if people didn’t pay you for it?” To which I can answer without hesitation “I would and I have, and I still do when a friend or relative asks me to.” This is both because I like my job and I happily do the people I care about a favor.

This is not so with sex acts. I am only willing to have sex when I feel like it, with a person of my own choosing. You can’t pay to do it and you can’t ask it of me as a favor. This issue is non-negotiable for me. Do you know why? Because I am a privileged, childless, woman who lives by herself; I have no one who depends upon me for survival, I answer to no one in my personal life and the situation in my country is such that, though I am a student incurring more debts each month, there are systems in place that provide me with enough money to live off. I am by no means starving or in a deep financial trouble.

My situation gives me the choice the refuse work, to apply for jobs that I find interesting and to leave the jobs I hate, all of which I have done in the past many times before.  I am also in the privileged position that none of the work I have done is even remotely illegal or stigmatized and I can put it all on my resume.  How does my situation compare to that of the average prostitute, porn-actress or escort?  Well for one thing, if any of them of them wishes to switch “industries”, and an average of 80% to 90% of them currently want to, they will end up with a nice big gap on their resumes which any prospective employer would ask about. Many of those who work as prostitutes don’t even come clean to their family or friends for fear of being judged or even being reported to the police.

When think about rape, what is it you think about? Forced sex? Sex without consent? Sexual assault? Strange men jumping out of the bushes and attacking a woman? In either case you don’t think of the woman as having said “yes” and you may even get the mental image of a woman screaming “NO”. If a woman would not have sex with you if the choice was completely free, but will “consent” to it if you paid her to, then are we still talking about consent? Can you pay someone not to say “no” to you or even to say “yes”.

The situation of women the sex-“industry” is such that the vast majority of them do it either because they are unable to pay for their own survival, because of (threat of) violence or to support a drug addiction. There doesn’t seem to be much “choice” involved for many of them when deciding to do this kind of “work”. This is of course not true for all forms of prostitution. There are women who do have other, very viable options when it comes to generating an income. Those are the prostitutes you’ll most often hear from in the media; the ones who do have a voice and often advocate the “work” as “choice” and some of which refuse to keep the “low end of the business” into mind. In all honesty I have yet to hear of a current “low-end” prostitute with her own platform. All those whose words I read and hear from about the horror of prostitution are those who have managed to exist it.

When you pay for the “services” of a prostituted woman, you are not merely removing her choices, but you are also exploiting a person in a particularly vulnerable situation. If it were easy for her to get her money elsewhere and she wasn’t living with the constant threat of violence over her head, do you think she would even feel flattered if you offered her money to be allowed to use the holes in her body? I don’t know many women who don’t, at some level, feel revulsion, when such a proposition is made. They, like I, want to matter and be respected for who they are and what they have accomplished, not for their anatomy.

When we are talking about sexual freedom, why is it that so many people merely mean the sexual freedom of men to stick their dicks into women with impunity? What about our sexual freedom to say “NO” or not even having to say “no”? What about our freedom to choose the life and work that we really care about? Why is it that people feel that it is men’s prerogative to fuck where they like regardless of whom they hurt? Regardless of what dangers they put the person they fuck in? Regardless of the fact that women may not enjoy the sexual encounter and merely fake their enjoyment. It is so often that John’s say “well she seemed to enjoy it, so I wasn’t hurting her”, without even considering the fact that if she didn’t fake that enjoyment she would most likely not get anymore clients.

It doesn’t matter which way you spin it, when money is involved in arranging for sex acts the issue of consent becomes dodgy at best and rape at worst.

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48 Comments to “Money is not a substitute for consent”

  1. You communicated everything so clearly, Feminist at Sea. Great work.

    “When we are talking about sexual freedom, why is it that so many people merely mean the sexual freedom of men to stick their dicks into women with impunity?”

    Indeed.

  2. Feel like I may be getting a little out of my depth here, but sometimes I think it all comes back to the denial of what a vagina is. A hole has been created (figuratively) where no hole is and taken apart from our whole selves. It’s easy to see what’s missing when you ask, where’s desire, what happens to this organ, our vaginas, when desire is lacking and we are penetrated over and over again. Prostitution is not like any other job.

  3. where’s desire?

    Exactly! A woman having sex for any other reason than desire is very old-fashioned, very Victorian, and yet to hear the media tell it, having PIV for money is a cutting edge twenty-first century choice!

  4. The way piv and prostitution is framed in patriarchy is like a mask men wear AS IF they don’t know what vaginas do. Rape reveals that men DO know what vaginas do and that is WHY they rape.

  5. Women are either human beings or they’re commodities. They can’t be both.

  6. Milly – most of the most violent sexual act in prostitution are not PiV – to be honest from the prostitute’s point of view PIV in vagina is less terrifying form of sexual torture that punters will do. Most punters will do everything that is in porn, and do battery as well. PIV in can be relatively quick and less life threatening than thousands of other ways that punters choose to use the prostitute. Many sadistic punters do not do PIV “sex” – for that is what they consider boring and do be done to non-prostituted women. No, they want the prostituted to experiment with how much pain a human body can take without dying – but no matter if the prostitute dies, she is replaceable. Please don’t focus just on PIV, for it about sexual torture of many kinds – it is about making the prostitute into living porn. That is why it must be destroyed.

  7. I think the way it is viewed by people with no personal experience in it, is the way the patriarchy wants us to see it. It describes it as “relatively harmless, lying on your back”, but that’s not what the reality of it is at all.

    When I started my at my new college this year we were taught a song that contained many verses. One of them was this:

    “Sex, drugs and alcohol you are taught at maritime college
    Yes, it is all part of it with the merchant marines
    Are the whores again too expensive?
    Just drill a hole in the wall”

    In dutch it rhymes, but that is not important. I do however believe that many people see prostituted women that way, not as human beings, but a collection of holes. I think that about sums up the general thinking.

  8. Rebecca, I have been reading your blog and it is now clear to me that this is more like torture and genocide than it is like sex. I think that message is very important for all to hear. Men, lots and lots of men are doing this. It’s not just a few individuals with a mental illness, for instance, like someone they will catch that person and there will be no more problems. It is an industry. It is misogyny as torture or genocide. It appears that this is closely linked to the porn industry in evil ways. Mimicking what is seen in porn.

    The idea that prostitutes are “sex workers” just like other workers, for instance, coal miners and both have unpleasant and sometimes dangerous jobs is a coverup. Prostitutes are more like slaves than workers, slaves against whom genocide is being waged. You have provided important information about the misogyist culture and how dangerous that culture can be for a whole class of women.

  9. Porn is nothing but a rape and torture instruction manual for men and boys. Boys attack girls and gang rap them using scenarios right out of porn movies.
    Porn was used as a rape manual for soldiers in war against ethnic minority women in Bosnia, among other places. Prostitutes were funded by the US government in many wars, and the sex trade industry just grows and grows. I don’t think you could possibly compare what prostitutes due to any normal waged work. It is about the destruction of the female soul for male entertainment and enjoyment. Men enjoy torturing and sexually abusing women, and that’s why they go to prostitutes in the first place. Horrifying addictive porn just keeps fueling the escallating appetites of men, so that they want to act out the narrative.

    Many women have reported they can tell when their boyfriends or husbands are becoming pornified, because it affects male behavior in the bedroom.
    The epidemic of BDSM in urban lesbian populations really took off with the decline of lesbian separatist space…the more lesbians connected with gay men, the more degraded and horrifying lesbian sexuality became. Not a pretty sight in big cities in the U.S.

    Paying to torture anyone would be considered obscene and a human rights violation if it happened to male Jews, males… it is called “sex work” by all who know nothing of the horror that is prostitution, and the powerful men who keep the porn machine well oiled!

  10. Yes Rebecca! + a million to your posts. Porn and prostitution is synonymous. Whatever the ‘niche’ thing is in pornograhy it will be tried on a prostitute. It is torture and it is rape. There can be no consent in either. Why? Because in pornography, which sets the standard, the boundaries are always pushed after the general consent is given.

    I’ve no doubt that good men exist. Men that don’t watch porn and wouldn’t dream of going to a prostitute. But they colude with their sex class and despite their pro stance against such behaviours of members of their own class, they don’t protest or take to the street as a collective. Ergo. Men, as a sex class, are in the main, dangerous. Until they prove themselves otherwise. The ball is firmly in their court to do something about it.

  11. “I’ve no doubt that good men exist. Men that don’t watch porn and wouldn’t dream of going to a prostitute.”

    The problem is, Maggie that every man I have ever met has been to a prostitute and most probably still go to prostitutes. Most men use porn! So how are the tiny percentage that constitute “the good men” to stand up to the rest of them? The ball is in our court to do something about it, because only we have the numbers required. A colonised people are never responsible for their colonisation, usually they put up an amazing fight, but lost. However if they can’t regroup and fight back they will remain colonised.

    Just as a start, we could stop voting for men when there are excellent women available to be our leaders, we need critical mass in all our political institutions before we can change laws significantly in our favour. 45 percent of the members of the Swedish parliament are women. New laws on prostitution in Sweden make it illegal to buy sexual services, but not to sell them.

  12. Horrifying addictive porn just keeps fueling the escallating appetites of men, so that they want to act out the narrative

    Indeed. And it’s getting worse. Much worse. If you have a strong stomach, I recommend taking a look at simulated snuff. The mere existence of such garbage is proof-positive that most men are deranged savages who actually get off on images of women being raped & murdered. I mean, something like this should prove our point for us, without ever needing to say a single word. Yet, shockingly, one needs to draw attention to it, and perhaps even explain(!) why it’s horrendously problematic.

    What sort of man is aroused by the sight of a woman being shot, stabbed, strangled, and sexually defiled after death? For all of the talk about “teh evil feminazis” that echoes from the shit-sucking pieholes of delusional MRAs, I offer NicheClips.com as my official rebuttal. The proof speaks for itself; MEN ARE DEFECTIVE.

  13. Yes, I agree. We know for a fact that women running for office have never bought prostitutes. We know it is highly unlikely that women running for office watch violent pornography. We know women haven’t raped someone. And it seems that women who cheat on husbands don’t come out in the news if they are elected officials. So if we know women by and large don’t do these things, and we know men do, then we should stop electing men to office. They are not fit to serve if they buy prostitutes!

  14. Um.. where’d my comment go?

    It’s important to expose this crap. One must shine a light on these cockroaches; obscurity only helps them to thrive.

  15. Sorry Rebecca, I was trying to boil down a whole lot of complex ideas into a couple of simple sentences. Wish I could write like Lucky! Still trying to get the hang of this writing thing. Hope I can clarify, but I was trying to get at the idea of why men mark us in this way and THAT I think is what they are doing when they sadistically torture our bodies in the ways you describe. They are marking us as, less than human, the sex class BECAUSE of our female bodies.

    I’ve been thinking a lot about “rape” and “rape, rape” lately and exactly what bodies do when they aren’t animated by desire and how when we turn ourselves off ( as a survival mechanism-” get it over with then”, “give me some money for it then”) all acts against our bodies become violent acts, no matter how ” gently” they’re done.

  16. Zeph: Yes there are women politicians, and most women will vote for a woman, strangely enough. Women carry on regardless.

    If the good men, and they are out there, want to do something about it then they should. How many rad fems are out there as a percentage of women? Most women, especially in the US, are fun fems now, who turn a blind eye to the porn watching, partake, and to keep the guy do those sexaay things too. Even those women who earn above 75grand a year. Men have to change. I’m not bloody making excuses for them anymore. Either they run with us or they sink.

  17. Thought that I’d better add that I was thinking about the connection between desire and piv, prostitution and rape in relation to the idea that “in the best conditions” (which is what sex- pozzies argue for) prostitution is like any other job. My argument is that;

    1) even in the best conditions, sexual encounters are different from any other “service” because of desire and

    2) there will never be any best conditions for prostitution because lack of desire is a requirement by men

    Why would men need to pay for sex that is desired by the woman?

  18. Milly, as I now understand it, prostitution is not about sex. Prostitution means violence toward women who are prostitutes, torture of women who are prostitutes, and also murder of women who are prostitutes. It is a whole industry. Porn fantasies are acted out, violent porn fantasies. This is not a rare thing, but very common. Many, many men do this. Not just a rare man who we have never seen. The common understanding by non-prostituted women of prostitution being about sex is incorrect. It is a way to hide what is really going on. Making it visible will at least stop the hiding. It is about the annihilation of prostituted women, body and soul. It is vile.

    Rebecca has a post on this blog and it has a link to her website. Before reading her post and her website I did not understand any of this.

  19. This was an excellent post.

    I think one thing to keep in mind is that even if one “chooses” to get into the sex industry, it doesn’t mean that she knows what she’s getting herself into And once she’s in “the life” it’s very hard to get out of, for any multitude of reasons.. I have heard men say, “no one is pointing a gun at her head,” in terms of women in prostitution. However this is coming from an extremely privileged position; no one is pointing a gun at HIM saying he needs to go buy a woman either!

  20. “Just as a start, we could stop voting for men when there are excellent women available to be our leaders,”

    This is completely underestimated as an effective political move. We should vote for women. Left or right, men are all the same: as misogynistic as hell. No woman will ever be as misogynistic as a man, even if she is a “handmaiden of the patriarchy”

  21. Hi Mantis. I also believe it’s important to expose that crap, however, I’d rather not have those links, whether broken or not, supplying such a site with any traffic. That stuff is already way to easy to find through search engines and stuff. I’d rather go by witness testimony of survivors to show what that world is really like. Would you mind if I edited out the link?

  22. Feminist at Sea – Thanks for writing this.

    I get so furious when fun-fems tell me and other exited women that it just a “dirty” or “nasty” job, but heck someone got – but of course not them and their friends. They then explain slowly and with huge patronising tones – how this “job” is only violent coz it is “underground”. I would punters are very lazy, so prostitution and porn is never really underground coz it need to feed the profit greed as much as possible.

    Thanks everyone for understanding it should framed as torture and or sexual slavery, not work. It is such a relief, when surrounded by so many feminists, those on the left and people fighting for human rights framed prostitution and porn as free choice and then it must be work – I get so exhausted at that being thrown at exited women all the time.

  23. mantis, i took out the reference to the website but posted the rest of your comment. all you have to do is tell people it exists and tell them to google it, and your point that this shit exists, and that its easily located, is made. thank you.

  24. I hate to say but many women in power continually betrayed the prostituted class – usually because they do not want to associated with those “bad” women. Unless women in power understand the radical feminist point of view that prostitution is o itself an act of violence against women and girls – that is an abuse o their basic human rights – until then many women in power will betrayed the prostituted. Many women in power back reform of prostitution, and little or nothing to tackle the demand and the profiteers. It not about backing women in power just because they are women – but looking carefully to see if they take prostitution seriously enough to confront the punters and profiteers. It should be remembered that the Nordic Approach works, because many of those women in power had a radical feminist vision of the structure of prostitution.

  25. Yes! you are right Rebecca and the funfems i.e the women in power, don’t even want to be with a woman who is a sex worker because they are ‘bad’ women.

    The Nordic model does work. It throws the ball into the men’s court and the menz HATE it. Good. Bloody good. Radical feminism works.

    Beware though. The model for economic reform in a recession is the Keynesian approach. This is the only model within captilaism that has been proven to work. It works because to create wealth again the government has to raise taxes especially on the wealthy and priviledged and plough money back into society and industry to generate cash again. Theodore Roosevelt used it in the 30s – though Wiki denies this and rewrites history so don’t go there. Milton Chicago School doesn’t work because private enterprise will never generate enough impetus or cash to restart the economy. Nevertheless a Keynseian approach has never been used since the great depression because it’s seen as socialist. Most will try the Milton idealogical approach – allow a free market to thrive (doesn’t work).

    I hope in feminist terms a radfem approach is always used. It does work as the Nordic model shows.

  26. When Sweden got near to a ratio of 50% women to men in parliament, they were able to enact laws that protected prostitutes and penalised Johns. In the UK only 20% of MPs are women, give or take. We do not have the political clout to push through laws that protect prostituted women. I agree that not every woman is sympathetic but many more women are sympathetic than men. It’s an odds came, get as many women into power as possible and most of them will back women friendly laws. Where ever women have high levels in government, conditions for women improve.

  27. Zeph you are right, but how did that happen? Was it just because there were radical feminists in power? Certainly the Nordic model works. It’s Nordic because it covers Sweden, Norway and Iceland. Other Scandinavian countries are following including Scotland which is part of the UK.

  28. I have just explained how that happened, Maggie. By raising the numbers of women in parliament so they had sufficient women to vote through female friendly reforms. Many women, not just radfems care about women’s issues because they are issues that effect us all. It sounds as though you are implying that all women are hopeless, except those who politically identify as radfems; that is not a feminist stance and it’s certainly never been a radical feminist position.

  29. I am not saying that all women will automatically be great in government. What I do know is we need critical mass… I’m sick of women being less than 25% of the US congress, for example. We need to get it to 35% to 50%— we know that women aren’t going to be porn dogs, aren’t going to rape people, aren’t going to do a lot of things men do. Men tow the line when women run things, when women take over bit by bit governing. Sure, there are HOPs, sure there are conservative women… yeah, I know women that are members of the tea party etc., but I know they don’t degrade other women, that they care about women.
    I know that men have no idea who women are, and have pushed the earth to the brink… Sweden is a kick butt government because of the huge numbers of women in its national government. We know the arrest the Johns strategy is working, that buying sex is the crime, the only crime in fact. Arrest enough of these men, get enough women in parliament, and keep on pushing.

    I know that non-prostituted women can be complete HOP idiots towards prostitutes. That said, I think you’ll find it very rare that women have bought prostitues and tortured them with rape/porn scenarios. And I think women are getting it that husbands who get elected GOV, and cheat and lie to wives, also cheat and lie and screw up government as well. I would have to say, that most women are conservative in my opinion, most women are het and clueless, and don’t stick their necks out for lesbian rights, nor do they voluntarily bring up the subject in non-majority lesbian events or social situations. That said, I would support women over men at every opportunity, because I know we have to take over all the governments with ballots. Women can do it, but we have to back each other.
    The idea of conservative or liberal really has no meaning within male supremacy, because we are dealing with male controlled governments who won’t change unless men are no longer the majority.

  30. Feminist at Sea & FCM:

    I apologize if I broke a rule that I am unaware of. I’m working on setting up a blog of my own, so I can do the whole exposé type of thing on my own without spamming up everyone else’s blogs. 🙂

    Anyhow, sometimes I find myself thinking “Meh… maybe men aren’t that bad”, but websites like the one I mentioned puts things back in perspective. Reminds me of the severity of the situation, so to speak. That’s why I think it’s important for other women to see it… especially any funfems who might be lurking about. It’s all-too-easy for heterosexual women to slide back into the trusting (of men) mode; I can personally attest to that.

  31. Zeph I’m not saying that. I’m in broad agreement with you. It’s not just Sweden, it’s Norway and Iceland (where the prime minister is lesbian) and a radfem approach has been made by left and right wing women – though most are centrist. Women are becoming politicised in Africa with good results. I know that women in politics, regardless of their political hues, if there in equal numbers has much better outcomes for society. SheilaG sums it up well.

  32. I don’t necessarily agree that any woman would be better than a man. We will most likely always have men in governments and if the majority of the female politicians merely support them in order to keep their jobs, then that is just as bad as cowardly male politicians. There are enough women of substance interesting in in doing the job properly, but may not get much support from political parties and the media. Those are the women I would like to see in office, because they will matter.

  33. Exactly sheila, it is an odds game the more women we have in parliament the more women friendly laws are likely to get passed.

    In Sweden the proportion of women parliamentarians increased from less than 10 per cent in the early 1970s to almost 40 per cent by the mid-1990s. In the organisational leadership of most Norwegian political parties there are only small differences in women’s and men’s participation, and most major parties have elected women party leaders over the course of the last decade.
    Compared with other countries, great progress has been made towards gender equality in the Nordic Region. Politics is an example of this; the proportion of women MPs is at the top of the international scale.

    In Sweden, almost half (47%) of MPs are women, while in Finland the proportion is 42%. (in Sweden, they used positive discrimination to get numbers up, and I believe that is correct for the other countries too). Of course men have always practiced positive discrimination to benefit themselves; just never been honest about what they are doing.
    In Denmark and in Norway, 38% of MPs are women. The figure for Iceland is 32%. All advances on penalising Johns have come about since the numbers of women in parliament were raised.

    50% of the population should have 50% representation.

  34. II am sorry but many of the prostituted are continually betrayed by both men and women – often by women are considered themselves as liberals or leftists – who often want to please the male-centred politics.

    Many women in power turn a blind eye to their men using the sex trade – and with their man using prostitutes, think that much better than having an real affair. They often want to keep the status of the sex trade, as long as it keep private.
    Most women in power of the right, liberal or on the left, without taking on board some feminist angles on the sex trade will want to put prostitution indoors, believing it will safer than, and more important will not be a public nuisance – and maybe lose them votes.

    Unless women in power stop viewing women and girls as the Other, and highly unlikely to vote or be in a good state to involved with politics – then most women in power will place dealing with the sex trade very low on their list of priorities.
    They just ignore the sex trade.

  35. Fantastic work. Incredibly clear and concise. Men who buy, sell and use women delude themselves into thinking that the women find it liberating or a “great job” – clearly, the women just wanted to sack up with these dudes for a paid romp, what else would they do on a Friday night? Women are universally viewed as fuck-holes. This is not consensual sex, as you pointed out, and I wish more men would understand that. I wish they would understand that it’s not out of a fantastic “choice” that they have unlimited access to the bodies of women. The system, unfortunately, continues to support the john’s denial and continued transactional rape of women. I will share this, though, in hopes that others will see through the patriarchal decay that upholds the status quo. Thank you for this post!

  36. “clearly, the women just wanted to sack up with these dudes for a paid romp, what else would they do on a Friday night?”

    But prostitution is supposed to be just like any other job! And in other jobs, we don’t think the cashier specifically wants to ring you up just because she cares about you SO MUCH or that a waitress wants to bring you a sandwich because it was what she was born to do.

    Ah, the contradictions!

  37. “I am not saying that all women will automatically be great in government.”

    No, but honestly could they ever be any worse? Shouldn’t we gamble on women, try something new? Yeah, they might support the status quo or betray women, but it’s still going to take centuries before they can plunge to the depths male politicians have traveled. Whenever I encounter a woman candidate I don’t feel good about, i always ask myself, did she buy gifts for her mistress with campaign funds? Did she slash her date face up with a beer bottle? Is she under indictment? Did she invade a few small countries? Stand buy while genocide occurred? Did she impregnate her maid, go toe tapping for male prostitutes in the men’s room, leave her cancer stricken wife in chemo, manipulate interns into giving her blow jobs?

    Well than, she’s my girl.

  38. bahahahaha! good one, yttik.

  39. The trouble for me is that women who are privileged can see nothing wrong with making “female-friendly” porn, and some of these even have the nerve to call it “feminist porn”. That women with privilege often believe that prostitution is work, and someone has to do it – obviously someone who is Other from them. That privileged women are more likely to consider there is little wrong with their boyfriends/husbands using prostitutes, for it not important for the prostitute is not consider human. That privileged women often view their boyfriends/ husbands consuming porn is fine – for the women and girls in porn are not real, they are just plastic people – they don’t feel pain, for porn is just fantasy not real. That privileged women think prostitution is a necessary “evil” – which if named as sex work, and put out of their sight and mind by placing indoors or in industrial sites – and maybe called unions, then prostitution is dealt with. These are the women in many countries that seek political power – so they do and can do huge damage to women and girls inside the sex trade. Damage is caused every day by women in power ignoring the realities of the sex trade.

  40. That is disproved by Sweden and other Nordic countries, Rebecca. The more women in power the better the laws against prostitution.
    Some non prostituted women blame prostituted women for prostitution and vice a versa. But neither are to blame. How can women with virtually no power, as represented by having less than a 25% say in government, rescue women with even less power than themselves? The people who have the power are men, as represented by their 75% say in government.

  41. I’m not a big believer in the power of the ballot box, particularly in the United States. Those other countries have a multi-power system and I think it is much harder in the U.S. with a two-party system. The parties themselves call the shots. Back during the first wave I’d vote for any woman, liberal or conservative. Some of the conservative women were great women. More recently, a woman like Olympia Snowe would be fine with me, though I hate the Republicans. I was in Barbara Jordan’s congressional district and had the opportunity to vote for her. It was a thrill to do that and to hear her in smaller setting and campaign speeches. She was extremely powerful as an individual. I’m not very happy with the Democrats these days. But those are women who are part of the second wave feminist movement or benefited from it. Now we have women like Sarah Palin who is very anti-women and seems destructive and prone to hate speech and violence against other women (like the “target” on her website of the congresswoman who was shot). I don’t know that I could vote for her. Just some thoughts, because I used to say I’d always vote for a woman over a man, but now I’m on the fence. On the other hand, some states now have male governors who looked like good guys and moderates while campaigning, but are just plain nasty, trying to bust the little power women have through teachers unions and other unions like that. So, perhaps a Sarah Palin would at least be a vote for a woman, since things are likely to go to hell in a handbasket anyway.

  42. Wow, I’m getting tired, lotsa mistakes. I did not vote during the first wave 😮 I meant the second wave. Also, it is multi-party system in places other than the U.S. not multi-power.

  43. The amount of women in Swedish parliament doesn’t matter currently. All those laws for protecting prostitutes came from the 90s or before, At the moment Swedish has a right wing government which is what is happening at an increasing rate through out Europe. For example there are no laws protecting women who are not married. For example Eva Gabrielsson was a co-controbutor to the Millium series, but when Stieg Larsson died she got nothing. The brother of her lover even suggested she’d marry the father and it’s all because women who do not get married don’t get to inherit after their male partners die.

  44. The thing is for me, is that in much of the Nordic Approach there was a feminist understanding of the harms of the sex trade – most women in politics do not have that so go for placing prostitution indoors and regulated – they rarely tackle the demand. Politician whether male or female see legalised prostitution as one way of getting taxes.
    Unless women in politics take seriously that the sex trade is violence in and of itself – they will only see as something that they can control to their advantage.
    After most politicians tend under to be “radical” when new to power, or on the bottom – female leader such as Thatcher and Golda Meir take their countries into war, destroy basic rights to say unions and freedom of speech, decrease benefits to women and can as many awful things to keep their power as male leaders.
    Without viewing the sex trade as destroying basic human rights – politicians even when female will do very little to tackle it, or they view it as freely chosen work and a cash cow.

  45. “The amount of women in Swedish parliament doesn’t matter currently. All those laws for protecting prostitutes came from the 90s or before,”

    I believe that women have actually had slightly higher levels of representation than they have now, in Sweden. But it does matter, these laws were only brought in after the numbers of women in parliament were raised dramatically. At one time numbers were very low. Men have been in power for hundreds of years and you expect one female, surrounded by men, to put it right in a jiffy? We only have a couple of women in our country to site as “failing” to solve thousands of years of sex inequality. The list of men is so long it is unquotable.

  46. Feminist at sea, great piece! I’ve been trying to explain what you said here to some friends, but you worded it so much better.
    One slightly off-topic question though, you are Dutch, correct? Do you know of any radfem groups in the Netherlands? I’ve been looking online for a bit, but I could only find one in Groningen, which is a 3 hour traintrip from Amsterdam.

  47. Yes, I am Dutch and I don’t know of any Dutch feminist groups, much less radical ones. Occasionally I come across a Dutch feminist online, but it’s rare. The Dutch feminist blog scene is also extremely small and highly inactive. I started a Dutch feminist blog http://watkijkjenou.wordpress.com/ this is where I criticize Dutch commercials. But I haven’t updated it in a while.

  48. Thanks for your swift response 🙂 I haven’t been able to find any nice blogs either, but I’ll check yours out, thanks!

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