my feminism stands in full support of “ugly” women both as conventional beauty standards prove themselves to be racist, fatphobic, time-consuming, and all around bullshitty; and insofar as women do not have to be visually appealing in order to have worth as people
If gender was performance, then there would be a way to perform that didn’t result in rape for women. But men rape housewives. Men rape butch lesbians. Men rape quiet women in dresses and lipstick. Men rape snarling punks in leather jackets and safety pins. Men rape every type of woman. There is no way for a woman to be that doesn’t risk rape. There is no way to perform that lets women escape the confines of gender because gender is not performance; it’s the designator of who can rape – us, the people called men – and who can be raped – them, the people called women. Performance has nothing to do with it.
When gender is a violent, unnatural hierarchy we are born into, the abuse of females is understood as a brutal result of a power structure that subjugates one class of people to another. When gender is an internal, subjective choice we make, the abuse of females becomes a hazard of identification, a set of circumstances implicitly welcomed by anyone who puts on a particular performance – or even an “affirmation of femininity”, in the words of a particularly noxious figure in the trans community.
Conversely, linking the massive privilege bestowed on men to an internal state erases the structural and political institutions that give power to males at the expense of females – and, shockingly, the ideology that does this is being largely pushed by males with the hopes of gaining access to female spaces, female resources, and female identities. This should be troubling to anyone who seeks to challenge actual, real male supremacy – not male-identified supremacy, not cis-male supremacy, not person-with-this-certain-set-of-feelings supremacy. Male supremacy. You know, the violence men do, to women, because we can.
The heart of gender performativity as a concept is a twin project of blaming victims and excusing perpetrators. By obscuring the brutality of our sex-caste system in a postmodern mist that privileges the internal identifications of men – the oppressors – over the material conditions of women – the oppressed – any attempt to throw the strongholds of patriarchy into focus is immediately neutralized. On queer theory, men win, women lose. What a surprise.
About twenty years ago, there were well over 100 self-described feminist bookstores in the United States. These shelves have been stocked with literature relating to a wide array of topics, including feminist history, LGBTQ issues, sexuality, abuse, community organizing, erotica, and gender and identity politics. This was not your neighborhood Barnes & Noble. However, that number has plummeted over the years, and today only around a dozen remain in North America.
While these shops used to fill a specific demand, the advent of the Internet, the Kindle and competitive pricing at major retailers has made such niche materials much more accessible.
So do we even need feminist bookstores anymore? While it’s certainly become easier to buy feminist materials elsewhere, many would argue that it is much harder to replicate the sense of community and solidarity once provided by these regional institutions.
from Bikini Kill’s “Girl Power” zine (via earlyfrost)
If someone’s calling “misandry,” you’re probably doing it right.
Feminism is the most hijacked political movement to the point where it’s not even seen as a political movement, rather it’s mistaken for some additional label to any individual’s personal identity [to validate whatever choices they want to make in their own lives].
women can be privileged while being women but they cannot be privileged for being women
this is not a hard concept to grasp
[German women] were pushed out of the market by sex workers from Eastern Europe: young, seemingly childlike women from Romania and Bulgaria who have come from the poorest environments and feed their families at home by having sex at dumping prices. [Street worker] Gabi Kubik calls it “survival prostitution”. Every month a prostitute from Eastern Europe earns 400 euros on average - pimps, often family members, take in about 10.000 euros.
Most women do not have a chance to espace this dependency. They work isolated and under degrading conditions, are abused and intimidated, have either no or little knowledge of German or are illiterate. […] Migrants are not only heard to reach with language programs. “They have culturally pre-formed, most often patriarchal role conceptions. It’s difficult to make them aware of the emergency situation they’re in”, says Gabi Kubik. […]
The massive pressure to earn as much money as possible and high competition in the prostitution milieu have as their consequence that the women continue to work even if they can hardly stand the strain. “The majority of the migrants we meet is in disastrous health”, Gabi Kubi reports. The women suffer from infectious diseases, have been feeling abdominal pain for weeks, are accidentally pregnant from johns who almost always demand sex without a condom. “Three to four abortions per year are not unusual for these women”, the social worker tells us.
Healthcare for Eastern European prostitutes is a big problem in Kassel. The majority of these women does not have insurance and no access to free ambulant and inpatient care. Voluntary check-up offerings by the health office are limited to infection protection, that is to say examination and diagnosis under suspicion of sexually transmitted diseases such as HIV, syphilis or hepatitis. Gabi Kubik criticizes this as insufficient. “We are far more often approached by women without health insurance because of acute diseases, pain and unwanted pregnancies. We then say to them that they have to go to the doctor’s - but we know that they cannot afford it”.
This is not only unsatisfying for the street workers. The lack of free healthcare services leads to the women continuing to work under pain until they cannot take it anymore and end up as an emergency case in an ambulance. And even here prostitutes are often sent away because of unclear cost transfers. “Even if they aren’t able to stand anymore”, says Gabi Kubik.
[Similar to the rest of Germany, only 2 to 3 percent of the prostituted women in Kassel are German.]
People are mad at Anita Sarkeesian for using the term “prostituted women” & describing the racist misogynist trope in video games where white/Western soldiers seek out brothels in the Far East/Global South, because apparently that means she’s anti-sex worker or something. Amazing.
If it’s coming from ACTUAL sex workers, I think that shows there actually is an issue with what she said.
Some people do choose that work because they want to, and Anita used a time that made it sound like that is an impossibility and many sex workers felt like it dehumanized them.
White/Western sex workers do not speak for impoverished prostituted women in the Far East/Global South regions or elsewhere who are overwhelmingly FORCED into the sex industry, and the term “prostituted woman” is actually the one preferred by many women who have exited the sex industry. It is not “dehumanising” to anyone, it is humanising to the women who find it best describes what was done to them.
You don’t know anything about the sex industry/global sex trade, you have no idea how the demand side works & who benefits from supplying the demand (p.s. it’s not the women), you don’t have the slightest inkling of the violence men commit against the women & girls every day, and even if we’re only talking about the video games the prostituted female characters have zero agency because they’re created by a male-dominated gaming industry that thinks poor nonwhite women offering to fuck white male protags for discounts is funny. A few shitty blog posts demanding respect for agency or whatever bullshit again, don’t speak for anyone but the individuals making them who are too self-obsessed to care about anyone but themselves. Shut the fuck up.