Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Feminist Vixen / Feminist Abolitionists

Don't get me wrong - I consider myself a feminist and I DO shave my armpits (that is, at least twice a week). I just realize there are many self-identified "feminists" out there who are anti-men, anti-sex, and anti-strippers (or anti-sex industry, to be precise). And my stereotype about them is that they don't shave their armpits. lol

I see much of the movement as women oppressing women. In December 2006, I attended a Rape Relief Vancouver forum on Prostitution. They planned, coordinated, and implemented a very elaborate forum around the issue of prostitution and yet they didn't invite a single sex worker to join the discussions. Feminists from all over Canada were flown in, and organizations from all over Vancouver were invited to take part. Only one sex worker organization was contacted, and they were told that they could only participate if they agreed to the premise that prostitution should be abolished.

Ahem. Yeah, great starting point for a discussion on prostitution. Before they even started talking about iniatives, they forfeited any kind of success - prostitution isn't going anywhere. It was around long before Rape Relief Vancouver, and it will be around long after.

And how insulting for all these passionate men and women who are deep in the trenches working their underpaid asses off for solutions to sex worker issues in Vancouver - not invited, not respected by their fellow women, not even consulted on any of the issues.

Representatives of Rape Relief Vancouver went on to make disparaging comments and spout absurd inaccuracies about the projects that were at the time happening in Vancouver around the sex trade. Had they only invited us, we could have corrected their misunderstandings. I stood there as one of the founders of sex worker services in Surrey, BC while they spoke at length about how there are no sex worker services in Surrey. What a waste of time!

Those women should be ashamed of themselves. I would be far more ashamed to marginalize women in the name of feminism, than I could ever be for publicly displaying my body.


Anonymous said...

Not to mention the fact that VRR won't work with transfolk who have been raped or assaulted, or even let them volunteer their time there.

Anonymous said...

Although you have empathy with women in sex trade, it does not mean you are feminist. How do you recognize yourself as a feminist?

Annie Temple said...

Actually, I've been trying to deconstruct my identities lately, rather than define them. But what did define me as a feminist was that I believe in equality for women. I don't think that women should go into debt, lose the momentum of their careers, or live in poverty because they are capable of and do have children. I don't think that women should have to choose between financial security and motherhood. I don't think women should be taxed on their tampons (or other feminine hygiene products). I think that women deserve to have more porn options than are currently available. I believe in a woman's right to control over her own body, including the right to sell sexual services with it, have abortions, and whatever other use a woman chooses. I also believe that women should be paid more for the work they do in typically women's fields, like the service industry and retail. I think that daycare should be completely funded by the government, and all children should have dental benefits. I also believe that men do not deserve to be shamed, criminalized, villainized, or otherwise condemned for being men. So I guess I just believe in common sense.

Anonymous said...

I hear your voice loud and clear proud rock girl ...keep on voicing!!! (is that a word haha)