Open letter to rabble.ca from the Asian Women Coalition Ending Prostitution

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Sineed
Open letter to rabble.ca from the Asian Women Coalition Ending Prostitution

Quote:

Dear Editors and Founders of Rabble.ca

We write to you because we are disturbed by your response to the recent smear campaigns against Rabble contributor, writer, and fellow leftist Meghan Murphy.

We are disappointed in your statement regarding the attacks and the petitions against Meghan. It is troubling that Rabble repeated the libelous claims made about Meghan rather than making a fulsome defense of her right to hold or present opinions critical of the sex industry and its apologists. We note that your statement gives an inordinate amount of attention to appeasing those maligning Meghan.

Attacking Meghan for using her platform to present feminist analysis and critique has the effect of squashing and threatening those whose voices she reflects. As women of colour and indigenous feminists, we are more aware than ever that our dissent is not welcome by Rabble. Your tyrannical enforcement of neo-liberal ideals is to the detriment of women of colour and indigenous women working to end racism, sexism and colonialism in the midst of overwhelming poverty imposed on us by unfettered capitalism and imperialist agendas. We expect more openness, democratic practice and intellectual rigour from you who pride yourselves as progressives and who lay claim to alliance with the oppressed....

http://awcep.org/news/open-letter-rabbleca

 

Sineed

These recent events at rabble/babble are symptomatic of how modern feminism has lost its focus. For instance, take the corruption of "choice." As a young woman, I recall "Choice" as a rallying cry as Morgentaler was being put in jail for advancing reproductive freedom for women. These day, "Choice" has become anything a woman wants to do as inherently liberating. So a woman posing naked or entering into sex work or choosing to wear a niqab is emancipated by the fact that she chose freely to engage in these activities, and any feminist critique is ipso facto hateful.

Entirely free choice is only available to those who are entirely free from oppression.

Left Turn Left Turn's picture

I've pm'd the mods to ask that this thread be moved to rabble reactions, as the letter in the opening post is a "reaction" to rabble's response to the petition against Meghan Murphy.

Sineed

left turn wrote:
I would be deeply disturbed if rabble were to give in to the demands presented in this petition.

Yes, me too. But they took so long to make up their minds. And anybody who took that petition seriously hadn't done their activist homework.

Sineed

Left Turn wrote:

I've pm'd the mods to ask that this thread be moved to rabble reactions, as the letter in the opening post is a "reaction" to rabble's response to the petition against Meghan Murphy.

Yes, but this thread isn't about that specifically, but rather as an example symptomatic of a larger problem within feminist activism.

I wish you hadn't done that.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

rabble.ca:  official rope of the 2015 Sex Work Tug-of-War.

6079_Smith_W

Or at this point, the comedy network. Sorry, I get the principles here, and want to be supportive, but when one is raked over the coals for doing the right thing but not in the right way, not fast enough and not in strict adherence to doctrine ....

Don't these people have the $20 or so it costs to get their own websites and control their own domains that they have to harrass other people?

The decision was the right one, in my opinion - on the issue of censorship, labour relations and editorial control. But this is also a balancing act of many viewpoints, so why is the host under any obligation at all to toe one line? How is that serving their mandate?

quizzical

3 men and 1 woman in the feminist forum...with the men telling the woman she is wrong on several accounts....wow......

6079_Smith_W

Who is saying that she is wrong? My complaint is about a letter criticizing rabble for not following to the letter even though they delivered a favourable decision. 

Why did we go to bat for Murphy at all, if not in the interests of people being able to hold their own values , and mutual respect for those differences?

quizzical

oh.... so calling sineed a joke is not telling her anything heh?

6079_Smith_W

Trying to  be polite actually, because that's about the best thing I can say about the absurd turn this is taking. And it is difficult, because altough I am quite serious about supporting Murphy's voice being here, and considering it an important one, it has nothing to do with agreeing with her, because in many things I do not. So yes, I bristle a bit at some of the charges being made here.

Especially considering that what is important is that rabble did the right thing.

Realizing this is an issue which Sineed takes seriously (and I do as well) how is one to interpret choice not actually being choice unless it is the right choice?

Unionist

6079_Smith_W wrote:

Realizing this is an issue which Sineed takes seriously (and I do as well) how is one to interpret choice not actually being choice unless it is the right choice?

Good point at which to stop, Smith. If you didn't (obviously) understand Sineed's point about choice, maybe just ask her to explain. And listen.

 

6079_Smith_W

I should have thought that by saying I understood her seriousness I took her point in relation to herself. That one must therefore extrapolate that to impose it on everyone? (As that letter does) . Sorry, but that sort of silence isn't any more supportive than if I had sat on the sidelines and listened when the first petition was being kicked around.

Pondering

Feminists are under constant attack. Murphy's views represent -a- mainstream feminist perspective that is under constant attack and ridicule. Responding to attacks as represented by the petition itself should not be puzzling. They responsed with some wishy washy statement that had it appeared on rabble her words would have been edited, but without saying how they would be edited.

Sineed

left turn wrote:
Sineed's point about choice is valid, and deserves discussion. Though it's unfortunate that it was made in a thread where the title and opening post concerned a petition making demands of rabble.ca, as it risks obfuscating the obvious (to me at least) fact that this petition is ridiculous and doesn't deserve to be taken seriously.

When you read my entire opening two posts, I make it clear that the letter is providing context for what I hope might be a broader discussion of the perils of "choice" feminism. Anyhow, back to the topic:

Pondering wrote:
Feminists are under constant attack.

Yes, and the specific battleground is over what constitutes appropriate feminist practice. I have referenced the problem with "choice" feminism, and how I believe it's the source of some of the tensions. When you google "The trouble with Choice Feminism," you get many hits, including one excellent article on Meghan Murphy's blog, but I'm thinking if I avoid referencing MM any further, I'll forestall any more mansplaining in this thread.

Choice feminism:

Quote:
This got me thinking about the phenomenon of “choice feminism,” where women argue that even anti-feminist behaviors are feminist because “feminism is about choice.”

http://www.xojane.com/issues/choice-feminism-isn%27t-a-choice

For second-wavers, being a feminist meant making choices that defy the patriarchy, such as the freedom to have an abortion or use birth control, or entering into a male-dominated profession. These days, many women seem to think that any choice a woman makes of her own free will is inherently emancipating. So choices that are problematic from a traditionally feminist perspective, such as entering sex work or submitting to a traditional religious marriage are justified on the basis of the women choosing these actions. When feminists say, hey, what about context, they are branded as haters for critisizing a woman's choice.

 

6079_Smith_W

But why frame it as you do in #1? Honest question. I know there are some who want to use it as a foil and brand feminism as hateful, but I don't think that is the case for everyone. I certainly don't see it that way - even on points with which I disagree.

All I see looking from the outside is two groups with legitimate grievances which see each other as oppressors, and all I have seen happen here is more and more entrenchment. Am I off base in suggesting that a good step might be to accept that there is some good faith on both sides, despite the legitimate ideological divide, and the perception that each is out to erase the other?

 

Pondering

6079_Smith_W wrote:

But why frame it as you do in #1? Honest question. I know there are some who want to use it as a foil and brand feminism as hateful, but I don't think that is the case for everyone. I certainly don't see it that way - even on points with which I disagree.

All I see looking from the outside is two groups with legitimate grievances which see each other as oppressors, and all I have seen happen here is more and more entrenchment. Am I off base in suggesting that a good step might be to accept that there is some good faith on both sides, despite the legitimate ideological divide, and the perception that each is out to erase the other?

There was no "good faith" in the attacks on MM. The accusations were unsubstanciated by the links. MM was attacked, not her ideology.

alan smithee alan smithee's picture

+

takeitslowly

I think the problem we have here is the lack of voices for sex workers on rabble.ca/babble.  I only ever noticed one sex wroker posted on rabble.ca/babble and she is constantly being  put on the defensive by everyone else.  I dont think its healthy or productive to make rabble.ca/babble a even more hostile place for sex workers.

mark_alfred

Left Turn wrote:

There is a schism in feminist thought on the issue of prostitution, and neither side can claim to have a monopoly on the feminist position on the issue.

From Meghan Murphy's most recent blog post on Rabble:

Meghan Murphy wrote:

Hornick goes on:

While laying claim to the “feminist” position, Hedges is critical of many other radical, feminist, inner-city, frontline activists and organizations working towards an agenda of harm reduction. [..]

He puts “feminist” in quotations here, inexplicably, as the Nordic model is, in fact, the only expressly feminist model that exists, in terms of addressing the system of prostitution.

Note that Hornick, whom she's criticizing, stated that "Hedges is critical of many other radical, feminist, inner-city, frontline activists".  Hornick did not deny that Hedges is a feminist, but rather stated that he is critical of other feminists who believe in harm reduction (and presumably decriminalization).  Murphy, on the other hand, declares that the Nordic model is the only feminist model that exists.  Pretty much claiming a monopoly, I'd say.

6079_Smith_W

Pondering wrote:

There was no "good faith" in the attacks on MM. The accusations were unsubstanciated by the links. MM was attacked, not her ideology.

I'm not talking about the attacks, Pondering. I am talking about how people's identity and values, and how they feel both are threatened.

I'm not even getting into who is right in what because I don't see any resolution to that. But at the very least I don't think the only reason why trans people exist is as a plot to destroy feminism any more than the reason for feminist gender criticism is to destroy them. That is what I mean by good faith. And I raise that point because that dynamic, and the attacks, is the point of mistrust this keeps coming back to. Without giving ground or compromising on your respective values there has to be some way to defuse it.

But I am already repeating something I have said elsewhere. I'm just going to bow out on this one.

 

 

quizzical

Sineed wrote:
I'll forestall any more mansplaining in this thread.

do you think there's any way possible to do this, as it seems like, at least to me, male privilege surrounding their belief they have a right to have a say in what is clearly none of their business, as being the purchasers there's a clear conflict of interest leading to bias, imv.

Pondering

6079_Smith_W wrote:

Pondering wrote:

There was no "good faith" in the attacks on MM. The accusations were unsubstanciated by the links. MM was attacked, not her ideology.

But at the very least I don't think the only reason why trans people exist is as a plot to destroy feminism any more than the reason for feminist gender criticism is to destroy them. That is what I mean by good faith. And I raise that point because that dynamic, and the attacks, is the point of mistrust this keeps coming back to. Without giving ground or compromising on your respective values there has to be some way to defuse it.

MM didn't claim that trans people exist as a plot to destroy feminism nor has anyone else here made that claim. How is that framing showing "good faith"?

wage zombie

quizzical wrote:

do you think there's any way possible to do this, as it seems like, at least to me, male privilege surrounding their belief they have a right to have a say in what is clearly none of their business, as being the purchasers there's a clear conflict of interest leading to bias, imv.

Could you elaborate on what you mean by this?

Pondering

Left Turn wrote:

Sineed wrote:

left turn wrote:
Sineed's point about choice is valid, and deserves discussion. Though it's unfortunate that it was made in a thread where the title and opening post concerned a petition making demands of rabble.ca, as it risks obfuscating the obvious (to me at least) fact that this petition is ridiculous and doesn't deserve to be taken seriously.

When you read my entire opening two posts, I make it clear that the letter is providing context for what I hope might be a broader discussion of the perils of "choice" feminism. Anyhow, back to the topic.

Sineed, you posted a petition that essentially demands that rabble take a position in support of Meghan Murphy and against decrim, and gave it more prominence than your point about the perils of choice feminism. The only way rabble could comply with the petition would be to ban decrim as an acceptable position on the site. It's of utmost importance to ensure that this position is not given any serious consideration by rabble.

That isn't true. The open letter didn't ask that decrim be banned. They are objecting to the lack of explicit defence of MM.

Left Turn Left Turn's picture

Pondering wrote:
That isn't true. The open letter didn't ask that decrim be banned. They are objecting to the lack of explicit defence of MM.

I  inferred that to explicitly defend Meghan Murphy rabble would have to take Meghan Murphy's position that prostitution be abolished. I don't know how rabble can support the abolition of prostitution without banning decrim advocacy.

Even if it only means an explicity verbal defense of Meghan Murphy, I wouldn't want rabble to do it, beacuse I find some of Meghan Murphy's positions troubling, to say the least.

Left Turn Left Turn's picture

mark_alfred wrote:

Left Turn wrote:

There is a schism in feminist thought on the issue of prostitution, and neither side can claim to have a monopoly on the feminist position on the issue.

From Meghan Murphy's most recent blog post on Rabble:

Meghan Murphy wrote:

Hornick goes on:

While laying claim to the “feminist” position, Hedges is critical of many other radical, feminist, inner-city, frontline activists and organizations working towards an agenda of harm reduction. [..]

He puts “feminist” in quotations here, inexplicably, as the Nordic model is, in fact, the only expressly feminist model that exists, in terms of addressing the system of prostitution.

Note that Hornick, whom she's criticizing, stated that "Hedges is critical of many other radical, feminist, inner-city, frontline activists".  Hornick did not deny that Hedges is a feminist, but rather stated that he is critical of other feminists who believe in harm reduction (and presumably decriminalization).  Murphy, on the other hand, declares that the Nordic model is the only feminist model that exists.  Pretty much claiming a monopoly, I'd say.

What I meant is that neither side can 'legitimately' claim to have a monopoly on feminist thought on the prostitution issue.

Of course supporters of one or the other side in the prostitution debate can claim to have a monopoly on the feminist position, but I'd argue that such claims are not legitimate. Just claiming that the other side of the debate is not feminist doesn't make it so.

 

Left Turn Left Turn's picture

quizzical wrote:

Sineed wrote:
I'll forestall any more mansplaining in this thread.

do you think there's any way possible to do this, as it seems like, at least to me, male privilege surrounding their belief they have a right to have a say in what is clearly none of their business, as being the purchasers there's a clear conflict of interest leading to bias, imv.

Fyi, my position in favour of decrim is in solidarity with sex workers and sex worker advocates. As in what I think is best for the safety of those who are and will work in the sex trade, regardless of what you or I or anyone else thinks about it. I've never used, and will never use, the services of a prostitute.

It IS possible for men to have a position in favour of decrim that is not motivated by self-interest.

Sineed

left turn wrote:

I want women who choose prostitution, or to wear a niqab, or to wear spaghetti straps ect. to not face harassment for their decisions.

It isn't harassment to point out that some of women's choices are not inherently feminist. When I shave my legs, I am capitulating to our society's norms regarding body hair on women. It's not a feminist choice. Ditto for the wearing of high-heeled shoes. A woman may feel empowered by making herself look attractive according to what men like, but if I put on shoes that hobble me and prevent me from running away (and I do sometimes), I don't pretend that the affirmation I get from being beautiful somehow cancels out the male privilege that defines what constitutes female beauty in the first place.

When women "choose" prostitution as a career, is it really a free choice, or is it economic coercion? When I worked at a methadone clinic in downtown Toronto, and the crack-addicted sex workers presented themselves at my counter with eye infections from gonorrhea-infected men ejaculating onto their faces, I wonder how anybody can so blithely proclaim that sex work is just another job where some people are exploited, but otherwise the most progressive position is to consider it an option that women can explore in a world of possible choices. It's as if "choice" was a candy counter, and we are all the wide-eyed children standing before it while a benevolent parent waits for us to select whatever we like.

"Choice" feminism privileges individual preferences over any sort of contextual analysis that attempts to cast a light upon imbalances of power and the role of the patriarchy in determining what we think we want out of our own free will, but actually may be a form of subtle or not-so-subtle coercion.

And using terms like "harassment" or "violence" to describe feminist critique is another way women are silenced.

Sineed

left turn wrote:
Fyi, my position in favour of decrim is in solidarity with sex workers and sex worker advocates. As in what I think is best for the safety of those who are and will work in the sex trade, regardless of what you or I or anyone else thinks about it. I've never used, and will never use, the services of a prostitute.

My position is in favour of evidence-based policy-making. Like I said in the other thread, I'm not convinced that legalization makes women safer for reasons that I have stated extensively elsewhere. Some sex workers think legalization will enhance their safety, but there are many exited sex workers who disagree. You can understand why when men show solidarity with the pro-sex work sex workers and not the abolishionist sex workers, we women may interpret your motivations as not entirely altruistic (even though they may well be).

quizzical

woman's rights, imv, would be a lot further along, if many, if not a majority, of "progressive" men didn't constantly re-enforce the notion of patriarchy's right to exist.

the simple act of their taking over discussion in this thread and the others, and telling woman who don't believe in prostitution they're wrong and use excuses as to why they should have their continual say on something affecting primarily women, they're re-enforcing their own position in patriarchy, and their right to have it.

 

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

I think I understand why Sineed opened this thread and I think it's a great discussion -- I do see LT's point about the focus on the petition obscures the wider discussion (that's how I read it in initially, in fact). But I'm fine with it staying here.

As you were...

Pondering

Thank-you Catchfire. I am getting some much needed sense of hope from reading Sineed's thoughts in particular but also that of other women and I do feel we need the protection of the feminist forum.

Sineed

quizzical wrote:
the simple act of their taking over discussion in this thread and the others, and telling woman who don't believe in prostitution they're wrong and use excuses as to why they should have their continual say on something affecting primarily women, they're re-enforcing their own position in patriarchy, and their right to have it.

I don't (believe it or not) consider myself a radical feminist, but all the tone-deaf mansplaining could certainly push me that way. I'm definitely more radical than I used to be.

Quote:
Why Women Talk Less

The women offered some alternative suggestions. Women don’t get asked, or if they do it’s assumed you only need one. Women aren’t seen as experts, unless the subject is a ‘women’s issue’. The age-old prejudice against women speaking in public means that any woman who dares to voice her opinions can expect to be deluged with abuse and threats.

...

Popular wisdom holds that women talk incessantly; research shows that in mixed-sex discussions it’s men who do most of the talking. The pattern is consistent, and statistically robust. The settings where it has been documented include not only laboratories, but also school and university classrooms, academic conferences, committee meetings, town meetings, Parliamentary debates and the comments sections of news websites.

https://debuk.wordpress.com/2015/05/23/why-women-talk-less/

It's especially ironic when men try to shut down women they disagree with by citing other women with whom they do agree, and saying we have to respect those women's "lived experiences." Like if you disagree with a man, your "lived experiences" don't count.

Sineed

Pondering wrote:

Thank-you Catchfire. I am getting some much needed sense of hope from reading Sineed's thoughts in particular but also that of other women and I do feel we need the protection of the feminist forum.

*blush*

And yes, thanks, Catchfire. I confess in my zeal to keep this thread in the feminist forum, I emailed Kaitlin McNabb by mistake, who cheerfully messaged me back to say she was sending my request along to the babble mods.

Unionist

Awesome post, quizzical! And please send our love to your mom - we miss her.

 

quizzical

Sineed wrote:
I don't (believe it or not) consider myself a radical feminist, but all the tone-deaf mansplaining could certainly push me that way. I'm definitely more radical than I used to be.....

.....It's especially ironic when men try to shut down women they disagree with by citing other women with whom they do agree, and saying we have to respect those women's "lived experiences." Like if you disagree with a man, your "lived experiences" don't count.

i don't consider myself a feminist, and have spent a lot of my life hating my mom and disregarded most of what she said because she is a radical feminist, or i consider her to be one. now i'm not so sure if she is one, and feel i may becoming one, at least in this case.

i have learned so much about myself, and society, through all these threads. it astonishes me everyday when i see things i never saw before as i was too blinded by patriarchy to see the truth of women's reality. i actually thought patriarchy was hardest on men and thought of myself as a humanist as "what about the poor men".

and this conversation about choice is so on the money. i'm one who thought of choice as being; as long as we choose to do whatever then we are exercising our human rights equally. now i see it much differently. the framework we're making choices on doesn't enable us to make a true choice based on equality rights.

and i have no idea what a equality framework would look like, but i wanna build one.

 

 

quizzical

"ridiculous"??? you think the letter from AWCEP is ridiculous?????

...another person here who i can scroll past.

Sineed

I think Left Turn means the original petition demanding the removal of MM from rabble, though he confusingly conflated it with the statement from the Asian Women Coalition Ending Prostitution, which is an open letter and not a petition.

Unionist

Yeah, quizzical, Left Turn can obviously clarify if he wants, but I had exactly the same thought as Sineed.

Sineed

left turn wrote:
By including the most worthy discussion of 'choice feminism' in the same thread as the petition...

I was providing a context for a discussion of 'choice feminism' to which everybody could relate.

'Choice' feminism sanctifies all women's choices as a part of their identities that has to be respected, making you a hater if you don't respect a woman's 'choice,'  (ie, "I choose that, so if you don't respect my choice, you don't respect me as a human being.") For instance, the sex workers who wrote that original petition cast themselves as an oppressed group (hence the coining of the nonsensical term, "whorephobic"), so that instead of engaging in a dialogue, they could call a person who disagrees with them a whatever-phobic in order to shut them down. After all, if being a sex worker is a choice that women freely make, how could they be oppressed by that choice? Such is one of many contradictions you have to swallow if engaging in choice feminism. It's dishonest. We are all supposed to disengage our brains rather than take the risk of disrespecting a person's identity.

I can come up with some other examples that will tilt this discussion away from the whole MM thing, and I will drop by later. But I need to go and water my tomato plants and otherwise get outside in what is a rare nice day.

quizzical

ok will reserve judgement until an explanation is offered.

Left Turn Left Turn's picture

I support the position taken by rabble on Meghan Murphy, which comes down on the side of free speech. Rabble continues to employ Meghan Murphy as a member of their editorial team; and rabble continues to provide a platform for her writing, for which she is not paid.

Rabble also continues to provide a space for those who support the decriminalization of prostitution.

There is a schism in feminist thought on the issue of prostitution, and neither side can claim to have a monopoly on the feminist position on the issue. Given that rabble is an aggregator of content that it does not commission, I applaud rabble for allowing both positions to co-exist on the site.

I would be deeply disturbed if rabble were to give in to the demands presented in this letter.

Left Turn Left Turn's picture

Sineed wrote:

Left Turn wrote:

I've pm'd the mods to ask that this thread be moved to rabble reactions, as the letter in the opening post is a "reaction" to rabble's response to the petition against Meghan Murphy.

Yes, but this thread isn't about that specifically, but rather as an example symptomatic of a larger problem within feminist activism.

I wish you hadn't done that.

If you didn't want anyone to do that, maybe your thread shouldn't have made the tilte and opening post all about an article making demands of rabble. Because once you do, the crux of the thread becomes whether the demands being made of rabble are justifies or not. Which I'd argue they're not.

Now if your thread had opened with your post about choice, and had a title that reflected the content of that post, we'd be having a very different discussion. Even if you'd included a link to the letter.

Left Turn Left Turn's picture

Sineed wrote:

left turn wrote:
Sineed's point about choice is valid, and deserves discussion. Though it's unfortunate that it was made in a thread where the title and opening post concerned a petition making demands of rabble.ca, as it risks obfuscating the obvious (to me at least) fact that this petition is ridiculous and doesn't deserve to be taken seriously.

When you read my entire opening two posts, I make it clear that the letter is providing context for what I hope might be a broader discussion of the perils of "choice" feminism. Anyhow, back to the topic.

Sineed, you posted a letter that essentially demands that rabble take a position in support of Meghan Murphy and against decrim, and gave it more prominence than your point about the perils of choice feminism. The only way rabble could comply with the petition would be to ban decrim as an acceptable position on the site. It's of utmost importance to ensure that this position is not given any serious consideration by rabble.

As to your point about the perils of 'choice' feminism, I don't entirely agree. While I don't think we should go around celebrating every 'choice' that women make, I also don't think that policing women's 'choices' is the answer.

I want women who choose prostitution, or to wear a niqab, or to wear spaghetti straps ect. to not face harassment for their decisions.

Left Turn Left Turn's picture

quizzical wrote:

"ridiculous"??? you think the letter from AWCEP is ridiculous?????

...another person here who i can scroll past.

Yes, I think the letter from AWCEP is ridiculous. It's clear to me that they want to turn rabble into a place where decrim advocates are not welcome.

Sineed wrote:

I think Left Turn means the original petition demanding the removal of MM from rabble, though he confusingly conflated it with the statement from the Asian Women Coalition Ending Prostitution, which is an open letter and not a petition.

I meant the letter from AWCEP, which I mistakenly referred to as a petition in my posts, which I've now edited to replace 'petition' with 'letter'.

That said, the original petition is also ridiculous. Rabble's response to it was exemplary.

It's far more important for rabble to support free speech than it is for them to pick sides in the prostitution debate.

shartal@rogers.com

I am disturbed by the fact that the entire discussion around choice is abstract. Choice is never abstract. We choose between options that are realistically available to us. I can choose to be a millionaire or a ballerina but I have neither the money nor the talent. Perhaps my experience is skewed but the women I have known who work in the sex trade have chosen this work because it was the least horrible available to them. I do not walk in their shoes and do not feel I have the right to criticize their choice. It seems to me that a progressive approach to the quandary of the sex trade would be to work at providing realistic alternative choices for the women involved. It isn't about saving them. I cannot see how more policing and More jail can never be good. The same is true of the drug trade. Prohibition has never worked in human history. Legalization, Regulation and unionization are about as good as it gets. I am tired of Reading posts that involve ideological abstractions instead of discussions of how we extend real choices to people

Left Turn Left Turn's picture

Unionist wrote:

6079_Smith_W wrote:

Realizing this is an issue which Sineed takes seriously (and I do as well) how is one to interpret choice not actually being choice unless it is the right choice?

Good point at which to stop, Smith. If you didn't (obviously) understand Sineed's point about choice, maybe just ask her to explain. And listen.

 

Sineed's point about choice is valid, and deserves discussion. Though it's unfortunate that it was made in a thread where the title and opening post concerned a letter making demands of rabble.ca, as it risks obfuscating the obvious (to me at least) fact that this letter is ridiculous and doesn't deserve to be taken seriously.

Left Turn Left Turn's picture

Catchfire wrote:

I think I understand why Sineed opened this thread and I think it's a great discussion -- I do see LT's point about the focus on the petition obscures the wider discussion (that's how I read it in initially, in fact). But I'm fine with it staying here.

As you were...

My position is actually that the letter is so ridiculous that it should have at most been inflicted on babble for a couple of days. After the babble community reachred consensus as to the ridiculousness of the letter, the thread ought to have either died a natural death, or been closed by the mods.

By including the most worthy discussion of 'choice feminism' in the same thread as the letter, Sineed has ensured that this letter will most likely be inflicted on babble for several weeks.

Unionist

shartal@rogers.com wrote:

I am disturbed by the fact that the entire discussion around choice is abstract. Choice is never abstract. We choose between options that are realistically available to us. I can choose to be a millionaire or a ballerina but I have neither the money nor the talent. Perhaps my experience is skewed but the women I have known who work in the sex trade have chosen this work because it was the least horrible available to them. I do not walk in their shoes and do not feel I have the right to criticize their choice. It seems to me that a progressive approach to the quandary of the sex trade would be to work at providing realistic alternative choices for the women involved. It isn't about saving them. I cannot see how more policing and More jail can never be good. The same is true of the drug trade. Prohibition has never worked in human history. Legalization, Regulation and unionization are about as good as it gets. I am tired of Reading posts that involve ideological abstractions instead of discussions of how we extend real choices to people

Well, that about sums up how I feel about the issue.

Though it doesn't mean we have to celebrate sex work as signifying the financial emancipation of women and the ultimate recognition of their unconstrained freedom of choice.

I wish I knew the answer. Anyone who has the answer, please PM it to me.

 

quizzical

ok, now will continue to scroll past leftturn as a person not of interest to anyone who is not white or male. this is because of his stance taken about how the letter is ridiculous.

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