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Wow, kick back and let Ms.Moran guide you though the problems of liberal feminism with regards to prostitution and the changes that are necessary to make in society.
First of all I’d like to talk a little bit about what Radical Feminism means to me in the context of my work as an abolitionist activist, and also in an emotional sense, as a sex-trade survivor. Three years ago, when I began writing anonymous newspaper articles and blogging under the pseudonym FreeIrishWoman, I noticed pretty quickly that my words were shared amongst and disseminated by a particular group of feminists: Radical Feminists. Given that the recollections I described were the experiences of a homeless, socially-disowned, prostituted fifteen-year-old girl, I would have expected support from the feminist community, of all places. Just as well I wasn’t completely politically ignorant with regard to the divisions between those who describe themselves as feminists, otherwise it would have been a shock to discover that while my words and experiences were honoured and shared by Radical Feminists, they were widely ridiculed and had their authenticity relentlessly challenged by some of those who referred to themselves as Liberal Feminists.
Liberal feminism – which holds that anything a woman does can be empowering as long as she does it without a gun pointed to her head – had always sounded like a crock of crap to me anyway, so I cannot say I was terribly disappointed. I was wounded though; and above all, I was galled. It is both wounding and galling for me to know that there is a whole army of twenty-something, white, socially-privileged young women out there talking of prostitution as the very epitome of female empowerment. That they’ve made this assessment about an experience they’ve never had, while having spent years being educated in an effort to keep themselves out of the social class of women who most commonly have to experience it, and have decided it’s harmless, in spite of the tsunami of evidence that attests to its harm, is, to me, the most repulsive sort of hypocrisy.
Sometimes we who speak the truth about the global sex-trade find ourselves close to despair, crushed beneath the weight of the prevailing public view, steeped as it is in ignorance; both wilful and malignant, and in obliviousness, sometimes innocent in its nature, and when it is, all the more frustrating for it. We know the interests of patriarchy are served by the very existence of the global sex-trade and by the annihilation of the innumerable female lives snuffed out of existence within it. It is galling therefore, for all of us to listen to the Liberal Feminists toe the patriarchal line with the lie they buy for themselves and try to sell on to us that black is white, up is down, and imprisonment is liberating. Conflating consent with liberation is the business of those who do not know that oppression cannot operate without it. But the consent of oppression, consent under duress, is not true consent. The duress itself has morphed consent into a different shape and moved it away from its own nature. True sexual consent is not possible here. Sexual consent is beyond the laws of commerce; it is beyond sale and it is beyond purchase. Sexual abuse however, often has a price tag, and when it does, we call it prostitution.
I am tired of the ignorance of women who do not understand this, but is it surprising to anyone, really, that most of these women are, as I’ve said, young, white and privileged? I doubt that any of the women gathered here today are surprised by that, because, that the socially privileged are removed from the realities of the socially dispossessed is simply not surprising to any woman with a whit of political savvy.
But yes, I’ll own that we are tired and frustrated and pissed off, and with good reason. Each time we speak out, they do their best to shut us down. We’ve seen examples of this in recent weeks, as we do in all weeks. As I speak, there are fools running petitions against this conference from Edinburgh to Brighton and back again. The most genteel advice I could give these women would be to consult their dictionaries, and turn to the word feminist. Of course, unfortunately, I’d have to also advise them, in many cases, to disregard what they had found, since so many dictionaries frame feminism as a matter of sexual equality, which rather puts the cart before the horse. A woman who believes in the social, economic and political equality of the sexes is not a feminist, but a fantasist. We don’t live in that world; we don’t have equality, and, as Radical Feminists know, a prerequisite of equality is the dismantling of male supremacy. First, we must be liberated from it. Then, and only then, might we live our lives as equals.
The simple cruelty of the Liberal Feminist stance is something that also, apparently, escapes them. Their stance tells us sex-trade survivors that every rape we endured did not matter, that every sexual assault of every manner and variety were just occupational hazards, and that our gang-rapes would not have been gang-rapes had legislation just forced those men to use us one at a time. Well, I have news for them: flat rate brothels and gang-bang packages are all the rage in Germany now. For anyone who hasn’t heard these terms, a flat rate brothel is prostitution’s answer to an all you can eat buffet. Men pay a one-off fee, a ‘flat rate’, and for this fee they can use the body, or bodies, of women for as long as they are humanly able, climaxing as many times as they want, or can. These are sometimes combined with gang-bang packages, whereby five or six or seven men arrive at the brothel together, pay their ‘flat rate’ and use the body of a woman until she can barely stand. I have had photographs forwarded to me from one such a scene from a German brothel. The girl being used by a half dozen men was nineteen years old, and seven months pregnant. This is the true face of the regulated sex-trade that Liberal Feminists fight for.
It has been claimed, in the midst of the campaigns against this conference, that I am endangering the lives of women in prostitution. It is telling how the depths of their incomprehension is revealed by the very charges they level against me. There was only one group of people who were ever responsible for endangering my life when I was in prostitution, and they most certainly were not abolitionists; they were sex-buying men; the same sex-buying men whose dicks will never be sucked by the Liberal Feminists who defend and uphold the rights of those men, to have their dicks sucked by other women; economically disenfranchised, educationally disadvantaged, socially deprived and racially marginalised women.
So where do we go, with our frustrations? And what do we do, with the anger that is so inevitable here, such an intrinsic human reaction to the injustice of telling the truth and being called a liar. The first thing I would say is take heart: this situation will not last forever. It is precisely the hypocrisy of the Liberal Feminist stance which will be its undoing. The doctrine that says ‘empowerment can be found in these experiences (which we will fight tooth and nail to avoid for ourselves)’ has a shelf life. That type of nonsense has a sell-by date. However popular it might be, for however long, such doctrine is doomed to exposure – Emperor’s New Clothes style.
I have been profoundly comforted these last years (and especially this last eighteen months, since my book, Paid For, was published) not only by the truths that were accepted from me, but by the truths that were told by so many other women, most of whom did not have to have lived these realities to acknowledge them. I have been comforted to see, in country after country, abolitionist movements spring up where none had existed before, or become strengthened where they had been floundering, and everywhere I have seen the strengthening of abolitionism I have seen a strong overlap between the abolitionist movement and the Radical Feminist movement, or, at the very least, a strong adherence in abolitionism to Radical Feminist principles.
The reality is that Radical Feminists are on the right side of history here, and they are the only feminists who get the full picture, and the reasons why it exists. Socialist Feminists have my respect, but they don’t have the whole picture here. Prostitution does not exist as a consequence of women’s economic disenfranchisement. Poverty is a supporting factor. Not a reason. Supporting factors are not reasons. They are simply supporting factors. Prostitution exists for only one reason; that reason is male demand. No amount of poverty would be capable of creating prostitution if it were not for male demand.
I have come here today to ask for the support of every woman in this room in fighting this scourge that weighs almost exclusively on girls and women. We need to fight this, not by ripping at the leaves, nor hacking at the branches, nor even cutting this off at the trunk; we need to rip it up by the roots. As daunting as this task seems, we already have the tools to do it. We are not, thankfully, totally bamboozled like the liberals, nor are we hobbled in our understanding like the socialists. We know that prostitution is both a consequence and good evidence of the subordination of women, and it is from the standpoint of this understanding that we can dismantle it. It is very important that we never give an inch in this fight. We must never concede to the tactics of the pro-prostitution lobby, the first of which is to pretend that prostitution is not a moral issue. Let me say in front of you and in front of the world: You can be damn sure that prostitution is a moral issue, as human rights always are.
Abolitionists, the pro-prostitution lobby contend, are engaged in a ‘moral crusade’ to rid the world of prostitution. Crusade, here, is a pejorative term, and it is linked with morality in order that some of its contemptuous derision will rub off. Morality itself, we are told, is negative, ill-founded and, well, wrong. The straight-up foolishness of asserting that discerning between right and wrong is itself wrong apparently escapes some people.
I am tired of hearing people frame abolitionist arguments by beginning ‘I am not a moralist, but…’ We are all moralists, unless we are psychopaths, and since when was morality a dirty word? Here’s the answer to that: morality has been a dirty word since it suited certain people that we look the other way and pretend that morality is null and void here; and you will find, time and again, that people who espouse that position are defending something which is very plainly wrong, hence their absolute insistence that morality shouldn’t get a look in.
There is also the nonsense claim that those who oppose prostitution do so necessarily from a religious standpoint, as though there were any shortage of ethical atheists in the world. The moral principles that govern or influence conduct often have no basis other than our own innate sense of what is or is not harmful human behaviour. Prostitution is damaging to the human psyche on every conceivable level; it is exactly its harmful, degrading nature that gives rise to the instant sense of objection we feel when we imagine prostitution as a feature in the lives of the women we love.
So let us stand firm on these points: That prostitution exists because of the male demand for it, and that we know damn well and will not be shaken in our assertion that it is flat-out wrong. There is a reason we are fought so consistently on these points; the reason is our opponents know we can win on them.
Let me repeat that I have come here today to ask for the support of every woman in this room in fighting prostitution. Please hear this as a call to action. Across Europe, our politicians are beginning to discuss prostitution more frequently, and just this February the European Parliament voted by an overwhelming majority to adopt the Honeyball report, which calls for a Europe wide adoption of the Nordic Model. When your politicians speak out, please support them by letters both public and private. When they do not, please encourage them to do so. When you see abolitionist campaigns spring up – and you will see more of them; the abolitionist movement is growing – please lend your time and your energy and your voice.
I am working with a group called SPACE International. SPACE stands for ‘Survivors of Prostitution-Abuse Calling for Enlightenment’. Our membership spans seven countries now and all of us have made the deeply painful sacrifice of speaking out publicly about our abuse in the sex-trade. We have friends and allies in several international organisations and we are gaining ground, but we cannot do this without the support of women in the general public. I encourage you to join RadFemUK and other groups like them, and to support their actions by sharing and disseminating their campaigns and materials. We need a groundswell of support from women, but maybe before that happens, we need to remind women that the bodies of their daughters would be just as welcome in the brothels and the red-light zones as ours ever were, should the circumstances of their lives ever happen to place them there.
You can bet your bottom dollar it is not, but let’s allow DarkMatter2525 illustrate yet another putrid facet of the glory of christianity.
Mmm…sweet sweet torture symbols for the winz!
Anti-Citizen X lays waste to the idea that morality is divinely inspired. Shorter video – God is unnecessary for moral behaviour.
How can you be moral with god? The real question should be, how can you be moral with god.
We’ll see if we can make it short and quick for today’s Disservice. God has a lot of people who claim to speak for him and his will (see the mentally ill). It’s like certain people happen to have a holy transceiver installed and others, like myself most decidedly do not. I mean when I talk like my imaginary friend is watching over me – my friends make that “keep the freaky-delusional guy happy smile” while someone covertly calls for the nice men in white coats to come get me.
But if you’re wired for God it’s fine:
“Simply put, we did not come up with the idea of God. He came up with the idea of us.
God created you, and me, and all that the eye can see. According to this verse in Jeremiah, He knew us before we ever knew Him. He knew who we were, before our mother’s knew who we were. And depending on your interpretation of this verse and many others in the Bible, it might just be the case that God knows how our lives will pan out long before we know it. He may know the decisions we make before we make them. He may know that we’re going to be “a prophet to the nations.” He may know what our next job will be. Shoot, He may even know what our calling in life is.
Think about it…so many of us are trying to figure out our lives–where to go next, what to do next, who will be in our lives and the like. Maybe, God knows these things all along. And maybe, He wants to tell us that we’re set apart, […]”
Like really, really? – This is some grade A, finely ground, delusional crap being finger-painted on the walls over there and it is *okay*? This isn’t reasoned argument, deep introspection or anything resembling rational thought. This is verbal wanking for jesus why it scares the piss out of me is because is soooooo chillingly prevalent in the blogosphere. Admittedly, it (the jebus-babble) serves as a excellent tell highlighting where the reality challenged are and delineating the rationality free zones, a meagre comfort in he towering shadow of blissfully ignorant religious stupidity.
I’m getting to the topic at hand soon, gentle readers, I just need to point out the crazy as I see it to in order to frame what the title of this post hints at namely, the neat concept of Eternal Sin (ba ba buuuuuuum!).
Jesus saves! Hold and accept jebus in your heart and you will enter heaven… blah blah blah…. Oh wait… you there the atheist looking type, you get to burn in hell *forever* why?? Here’s why :
- Mark 3:28-30: “Truly I tell you, people will be forgiven all their sins and all the blasphemies they utter. But whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven, but is guilty of an eternal sin. He said this because they [the Pharisees] were saying, ‘He has an evil spirit’.”
- Matthew 12:30-32: “Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters. And so I tell you, people will be forgiven every sin and blasphemy. But the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.”
- Luke 12:8-10: “I tell you, whoever acknowledges me before men, the Son of Man will also acknowledge him before the angels of God. But he who disowns me before men will be disowned before the angels of God. And everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven.
Oh shit, there I go, now I’ve done it. You see kind readers, I’ve been a bad atheist. No, I mean it, a really bad atheist. My irredeemable crime? – here it comes… *holds breath….tension so thick you can cut it with a bad cliche.*
I have said (and shall reiterate here) and meant the following statement:
“The holy ghost is fictional character at best and is a big poopy-head”
Whoa there, that wins me eternal damnation. Don’t you feel the kindness and the loving of the christian god? I know I do. What kind of horrible fucking being demands blind devotion or else its a permanent lake of fire vacation for you? Him and his brand of “Justice”” can go frack themselves sideways, thank you very much.
Eternal damnation is immoral in any case, especially when you hand get out hell free cards for everything else. Mass murderer? Repent and accept jebus, go to heaven. Serial rapist and child molester? Repent and accept jebus, go to heaven. Torture cats for fun? Repent and accept jebus, go to heaven.
Frack heaven and frack the despicable “morality” that supposedly gets you there. It’s topsy-turvy bullshit at its very best; I get to burn forever for calling a ghost “poopy” and Ted Bundy after finishing gnoshing on somone’s liver, once saved, is in heaven with his 72 and half virgins (or raisins, depending on translation).
This notion of eternal damnation, lets lump it into the correct category and call it religious morality, is fractally stupid. To the rational mind religious morality is bug-fuck nutz. It is also a maddening splinter punched into my cerebral-cortex as I witness the deluded start dropping these religious bags of spoor into a conversation not realizing the implications of their delusional shit-festooned beliefs.
And thus endeth the sermon. Have a good week folks.
As if you need another reason to hate the rotten edifice of christian religion…
For a group that so often harps on (and on and on) about having access to an – pardon me, “the” – objective moral standard, christians have some pretty outrageous double standards when it comes to ethical behaviour. What the christian god does, and is called all good/loving for, would be considered monstrous if done by anyone else.
Some believers may claim that god is a special case, that because of his infinite nature, the same rules don’t apply. Those rules are only for us mere mortals. It’s as if those who use this claim don’t really understand what ‘objective’ means.
If the morality of an action applies differently depending on context – whether Entity A does it or Entity B does it (god vs human), whether it was done in Time X or in Time Y (old testament era vs new testament era), etc. – then it is NOT an objective moral rule. It is a relative rule.
Anytime theists say something like “that was OLD testament, things are different now because of Jebus,” they are admitting that their “god given ethics” are really the worst kind of moral relativism with a little Hocus-Pocus sprinkled on top.
Alternatively, some christians say instead that nothing their god does could possibly be considered monstrous, and
the best thing any person could do is emulate the fantastic yummy goodness that is their deity, as much as is possible by us finite beings. My immediate reaction is to rant about the million and one things attributed to the christian god that are about as far from ‘good’ as one can get (examples 1 2 3). This will usually result in the believer switching to the first position addressed in this post (claiming relativism), or dodging the issue by pointing out some happy part of their text (which is dealt with here).
Despite these theistic tactics being flawed, they still distract from the actual topic at hand, allowing the believer to forget their arguments have been obliterated. Then the dance starts all over again.
So instead, today I would like to highlight a more fundamental part of christian dogma, one not so easily shrugged off. Here is yet another fantastic video from DarkMatter2525 showing what it would be like if firefighters “saved” people the same way Jebus does.
Inconsistent standards disqualify christianity from any claim to objectivity, while
burning/torturing/killing “not saving” non believers disqualifies it from any claim to morality. This “god” is nothing but an evil and fickle tyrant.