Sex work is this bitching transgressive act?

14Sep09

We were sitting in his car on a dark street outside my apartment. He was giving me a ride home. I remember thinking about how still everything seemed for my usually chaotic urban street. We’d been at some bar or something, someone’s house drinking. Who knows.

I do know that when I told him I was doing sex work, he asked me how I could call myself a feminist and whore myself out. I told him that I didn’t see it that way, and got out of his car angrily.

He was one of only a handful of people who I told who opposed my entrance into sex work. For all the stunning plethora of reasons I should not have done sex work my first go around, the fact that a friend thought it was anti-feminist seems the most laughable to me.

And I go back and forth about this. I think sex work is feminist neutral. I don’t think that sex work as an occupation is a system of male domination so much as I think sex work as an occupation exists in a system of male domination, among other oppressions.

I do balk at the number of young, hipster feminists (such as I once was) who think that doing sex work is this bitching transgressive act, like wearing pants or something used to be. That alarms me because I don’t think that sex work should be some sort of fucking street cred, or something young, hipster feminists do because they’ve read a bunch of books about it. I’m making a bunch of gross over-simplifications here. But I know from experience that this is a bad fucking idea.

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One Response to “Sex work is this bitching transgressive act?”

  1. 1 Amber Rhea

    I don’t think any act can, on its own, be defined as feminist or not feminist. An act alone does not give us enough information to say whether or not it’s feminist. It’s all the stuff *around* the act that matters – the person’s environment, their intentions, etc. This is why it bothers me so much when people try to say that certain sex acts are inherently degrading. Nothing exists in a vacuum, so it’s downright foolish to think an act can be judged by itself with no consideration of motivation and intent.


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