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post #101 of 148
I'm now uncomfortable with porn because from what I understand, these days what makes porn "better" is how violent and/or humiliating the acts appear to be to women. And boys who want to date my girls will watch that kind of thing, and I do worry that it could have an effect on their relationships someday.
post #102 of 148
Quote:
Originally Posted by eclipse View Post
Yeah, the whole "women in our society cannot consent" thing is really bugging me here. There's a huge difference between men and women who are forced to have sex (be it on camera or off) and people who chose to have sex (even if they would chose something different if their circumstances were different). I think it's pretty insulting and dissmissive of people who have actually been raped to draw parallels between their experience and a woman who would prefer to make adult movies while she goes to college instead of working at McDonalds or Walmart for minimum wage. I think it's also insulting to those of us who have actually been raped and otherwise sexually assaulted to imply that we are so damaged that we're the only kind of woman who would choose the sex industry to work in - and that women who work in the sex industry must be so damaged that they have to have been abused.
Yes, all the strippers I know in real life put themselves through college that way. They used the system in place to get ahead. They took advantage of the patriarchy. It's not the choice I made, but its one I can understand.

As to the "all pornography is demeaning and violent to women" argument..... you all are looking at the wrong stuff. There's plenty out there where the woman looks like she's having fun and it looks consensual. 'Course being married for 21 years.. maybe I'm sheltered from the icky stuff.
post #103 of 148
Quote:
Originally Posted by philomom View Post
Yes, all the strippers I know in real life put themselves through college that way. They used the system in place to get ahead. They took advantage of the patriarchy. It's not the choice I made, but its one I can understand.
.
This is kinda my point--you can't really "take advantage" of a system of discrimination such as a patriarchy, unless you are a patriarch/man. And I apologise if I offended any survivors of abuse, but I feel my point is still valid: if society as a whole has decided that women, children (and men/boys) can be sold to men for the fulfillment of their sexual desires, then no woman can truly choose to consent to stripping, porn, prostitution etc. There isn't a real choice to be made--society has already deemed it to be acceptable.

I should add that filming each other as consenting adults, erotic art, writings, etc. are totally fun and fine in my books. As is sex without strings attached, one night stands, friends with benefits etc. I just think that we can't separate the impact of one woman's perceived choice to strip or do porn from the impact upon women (and society) as whole: you may well be paying your way through college by stripping, but your actions are contributing to the dimunition and devaluation of all females and that's not what I wish for my daughters.

Until society changes, commercial pornography hurts women, and men, and children, and families--as does the Disney corp, girls gone wild, Hooters restaurants, Bratz dolls, ad nauseum. Sigh. It depresses me that something as fun and sweaty and gorgeous as sex has been so debased.

--Andrea, really enjoying the civil nature of the debate
post #104 of 148
Quote:
if society as a whole has decided that women, children (and men/boys) can be sold to men for the fulfillment of their sexual desires, then no woman can truly choose to consent to stripping, porn, prostitution etc. There isn't a real choice to be made--society has already deemed it to be acceptable.
But, men can be sold to women, or other men for the same thing. And women can be sold to other women. Many times, the men and women selling themselves have chosen to do so. And, why wouldn't that be acceptable? There is a seller and a buyer - same as any other commodity. Why does the fact that sex is involved make it any different? I'm talking consensual here - not anything to do with human trafficking or child abuse. I guess the main point is that men are not the only buyers - women buy too.
post #105 of 148
Quote:
Originally Posted by silkiemum View Post
This is kinda my point--you can't really "take advantage" of a system of discrimination such as a patriarchy, unless you are a patriarch/man. And I apologise if I offended any survivors of abuse, but I feel my point is still valid: if society as a whole has decided that women, children (and men/boys) can be sold to men for the fulfillment of their sexual desires, then no woman can truly choose to consent to stripping, porn, prostitution etc. There isn't a real choice to be made--society has already deemed it to be acceptable.
Your argument is fatally flawed. First, I don't believe it is true that society as a whole has agreed that anyone can be sold to "men" for the fulfillment of sexual desires, considering that in the majority of places human trafficking is a crime. That isn't to say it doesn't occur, but it is far from accepted.
The second half of your argument doesn't make a lot of sense, even if the the first part was true. Even if someone else in another country was bought and sold for the purposes of porn, how does that affect the choice of someone else who is not even aware that occurred? You are making a huge leap in logic which cannot be supported.
post #106 of 148
Quote:
Originally Posted by Amberoxy View Post
But, men can be sold to women, or other men for the same thing. And women can be sold to other women. Many times, the men and women selling themselves have chosen to do so. And, why wouldn't that be acceptable? There is a seller and a buyer - same as any other commodity. Why does the fact that sex is involved make it any different? I'm talking consensual here - not anything to do with human trafficking or child abuse. I guess the main point is that men are not the only buyers - women buy too.
From what I understand, very, very few women buy sex. It is almost statistically irrelevant, and it is almost certainly tangential to a discussion of prostitution or commercial pornography. And it is a very different act for a man, privileged by his gender, to sell sex to a woman. As for the boys and men who sell sex to other men, they are being oppressed by the same societal forces as female prostitutes.

I think I haven't gotten my point across: It is unacceptable for people, and especially women and girls, to be treated as , in your words, "any other commodity." And if our male-dominated society has decided that it IS acceptable, then sex workers have no real choice, no real opportunity to give consent. But prostitution wasn't the OP's topic, and I'm sorry I hijacked it.......



--Andrea in NS, suddenly very appreciative of her DH.
post #107 of 148
Quote:
Originally Posted by Amberoxy View Post
But, men can be sold to women, or other men for the same thing. And women can be sold to other women. Many times, the men and women selling themselves have chosen to do so. And, why wouldn't that be acceptable? There is a seller and a buyer - same as any other commodity. Why does the fact that sex is involved make it any different? I'm talking consensual here - not anything to do with human trafficking or child abuse. I guess the main point is that men are not the only buyers - women buy too.
Aside from that, I reject outright the idea that someone is "selling themselves" or "being sold" when doing something sexual for money. I'm not sure how it's different than working for money in any other job/career, except that some people put a different/greater value on sex than they do on mopping floors, tending children, mail delivery, construction work, stage acting, dance instructing, teaching, etc.

It horrifies me that there are people forced into sexual slavery (both on camera and otherwise). I completely understand why someone who might otherwise enjoy pornography would choose not to support it/but it/watch it because they feel like can't tell the difference between pornography that was produced consensually and pornography that is not. But I object to the idea that women who are consenting to participate in it are being told that they don't matter, that they don't have the power to choose and that they are deluded if they think they do. There's a huge difference between being kidnapped and forced to have sex on film and a woman walking into a porn studio and signing a contract or setting up with a webcam and a paypal account to make some extra money.
post #108 of 148
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheTMommy View Post
Your argument is fatally flawed. First, I don't believe it is true that society as a whole has agreed that anyone can be sold to "men" for the fulfillment of sexual desires, considering that in the majority of places human trafficking is a crime. That isn't to say it doesn't occur, but it is far from accepted.
The second half of your argument doesn't make a lot of sense, even if the the first part was true. Even if someone else in another country was bought and sold for the purposes of porn, how does that affect the choice of someone else who is not even aware that occurred? You are making a huge leap in logic which cannot be supported.

Fatally flawed? That's a bit harsh! How about, "I disagree with you, because... Yes, human trafficking is a crime--one which, especially in the former USSR and Asia is not even hindered by law enforcement--or, really, by societal convention. And if you don't think our North American society approves of the selling of human bodies, what do you consider prostitution to be? Perhaps "renting" another person? Even stripping is the act of displaying one's body for temporary hire. If there is money involved (and in porn, human trafficking and even street prostitution, there's a LOT of money involved), people are being sold--and thereby, bought. And men are, by and large, the buyers.

As for the second part of your accusation, you have misunderstood my argument. (Although frankly, ignorance is no defense on the part of a sex consumer.) My argument was: if--as all indicators, economic, health, political, seem to point to-- women are not equal to men in our society, then women cannot truly consent to the selling of their bodies/images. This logic is the basis of the statuatory rape law, as well as the prohibition against child pornography. Truly, I wish women didn't require such protection, but they do.

--Andrea, in NS, feeling that the debate is gettin' ugly fast
post #109 of 148
Quote:
Originally Posted by Amberoxy View Post
I am not quite understanding why it seems like the woman is portrayed as always being a victim in the sex industry. There are both men and women in porn and in other sex jobs as well, including prostitution. I am confused as to why it is just women who would not be able to consent? I don't think they are selling themselves, they are being paid to do a job. The job just happens to be to have sex. For some people, having sex without any type of relationship is enjoyable so, why not get paid for it? Society has placed a lot of constraints and ideology on sex but, in the end, it is a physical act between two people. And, for some people, that is all it is. I think it is the same for women as for men. Some attach the feelings to the act and some don't. While it does seem like more women than men attach those feelings, that does not mean that the women that don't, are damaged by a career in the sex industry. Even if they don't love it, and it is just a job to them - lots of people have jobs that are just jobs to them. I think that both men and women need to have outlets for sexual urges and pornography fills that need for some people.

Just to provide some background - I've always had a more typically "male" view of sex than "female" so I think that is why I come out on this side of the debate. I am a heterosexual female but have never gotten what all the feelings and such are about when it comes to sex. To me, it is something that feels good and is fun. I honestly do not understand where the emotional aspect comes from? Maybe I am missing that part of my brain or something? I don't know...

I just wanted to provide this background because I don't want to seem like I am arguing with the poster I quoted or saying that her point was not valid - just that I don't see that side of it and, from reading the other posts, don't think I am the only one... I hate confrontation so don't want to seem confrontational . Just wanted to participate in the discussion...
This is so true. My BFF is like that, does not attach feelings to sex if feelings don't need to be attached. She likes sex and doesn't need to care about someone to have it.
Yes, she might be damaged emotionally(whose not in some way, after all) but not from a life in the sex industry or some sort of sexual abuse. Just normal disfunction in relationships that I find to be so common in this day and age.

And that holds true for men, too.

I hate the excuse that women are victims because of how men percieve them, give me a break!
post #110 of 148
Quote:
Originally Posted by silkiemum View Post
I think I haven't gotten my point across: It is unacceptable for people, and especially women and girls, to be treated as , in your words, "any other commodity." And if our male-dominated society has decided that it IS acceptable, then sex workers have no real choice, no real opportunity to give consent. But prostitution wasn't the OP's topic, and I'm sorry I hijacked it.......


And this is where the difference lies. I don't think selling sex is selling people. I think it's selling labor, just like I sold my labor when I worked at a grocery store.
post #111 of 148
Quote:
Originally Posted by eclipse View Post
But I object to the idea that women who are consenting to participate in it are being told that they don't matter, that they don't have the power to choose and that they are deluded if they think they do. There's a huge difference between being kidnapped and forced to have sex on film and a woman walking into a porn studio and signing a contract or setting up with a webcam and a paypal account to make some extra money.
I agree with this. While I, like everyone else in this discussion, think that non-consensual sex, coerced sex, and non-voluntary participation in the sex industry is completely unacceptable, I also think that it's unacceptable to claim that women are incapable of freely consenting to sex work. Indeed, we've heard from women right here on this thread who have talked about their own work and participation in the sex industry. Are people implying that they are wrong? Deluded? Incapable of making choices of their own? Acting without agency?

I also think that this line of reasoning leads us down a slippery slope. The same people who claim that women can't consent to sex work often also claim that women cannot truly consent to any sort of kinky sex, S/M, etc., and I find this extremely troubling...
post #112 of 148
Quote:
Originally Posted by silkiemum View Post
Fatally flawed? That's a bit harsh! How about, "I disagree with you, because... Yes, human trafficking is a crime--one which, especially in the former USSR and Asia is not even hindered by law enforcement--or, really, by societal convention. And if you don't think our North American society approves of the selling of human bodies, what do you consider prostitution to be? Perhaps "renting" another person? Even stripping is the act of displaying one's body for temporary hire. If there is money involved (and in porn, human trafficking and even street prostitution, there's a LOT of money involved), people are being sold--and thereby, bought. And men are, by and large, the buyers.

As for the second part of your accusation, you have misunderstood my argument. (Although frankly, ignorance is no defense on the part of a sex consumer.) My argument was: if--as all indicators, economic, health, political, seem to point to-- women are not equal to men in our society, then women cannot truly consent to the selling of their bodies/images. This logic is the basis of the statuatory rape law, as well as the prohibition against child pornography. Truly, I wish women didn't require such protection, but they do.

--Andrea, in NS, feeling that the debate is gettin' ugly fast
Fatally flawed is not really an ugly thing to say....(?)


Anyway.

Strippers aren't selling their bodies. They are selling a show. A fantasy, even. But not their body. The "buyer" doesn't get to go home with the stripper, keep her for as long as he likes and do whatever he wants with her. He gains entrance to the club for money, tips the girls he chooses, possibly buys a lap dance or private dance and then goes home sans stripper.
And if some strippers happen to also prostitute that still does not make them up for sale. It is exactly as a pp said, a renting situation. Is it ethical? I don't know. Is it good for those women's self esteem? Prolly not. It is their choice? And emphatic yes from over here!!!!!!!
post #113 of 148
Quote:
Originally Posted by AngelaM View Post
I agree with this. While I, like everyone else in this discussion, think that non-consensual sex, coerced sex, and non-voluntary participation in the sex industry is completely unacceptable, I also think that it's unacceptable to claim that women are incapable of freely consenting to sex work. Indeed, we've heard from women right here on this thread who have talked about their own work and participation in the sex industry. Are people implying that they are wrong? Deluded? Incapable of making choices of their own? Acting without agency?

I also think that this line of reasoning leads us down a slippery slope. The same people who claim that women can't consent to sex work often also claim that women cannot truly consent to any sort of kinky sex, S/M, etc., and I find this extremely troubling...

Yes, this!

And it isn't a very feminist perspective to think that women don't have the faculties to make those kind of decisions on their own!!!
post #114 of 148
Quote:
Originally Posted by silkiemum View Post
And if you don't think our North American society approves of the selling of human bodies, what do you consider prostitution to be? Perhaps "renting" another person? Even stripping is the act of displaying one's body for temporary hire. If there is money involved (and in porn, human trafficking and even street prostitution, there's a LOT of money involved), people are being sold--and thereby, bought.

SNIP

This logic is the basis of the statuatory rape law, as well as the prohibition against child pornography. Truly, I wish women didn't require such protection, but they do.

--Andrea, in NS, feeling that the debate is gettin' ugly fast

As I stated above, any type of labor could then be considered selling one's self. I'm cool with that description, but generally people aren't.

as to the second half - well, you could just as easily say that I cannot consent to having sex with my husband, because he has power over me just because he is part of the patriarchy. In fact, he has more power over me than some random guy I might (theoretically) have sex with for money, because I have children with him, and because he earns the income in our family. Or am I deluded to think I'm not being exploited by him?
post #115 of 148
Quote:
Originally Posted by eclipse View Post
Aside from that, I reject outright the idea that someone is "selling themselves" or "being sold" when doing something sexual for money. I'm not sure how it's different than working for money in any other job/career, except that some people put a different/greater value on sex than they do on mopping floors, tending children, mail delivery, construction work, stage acting, dance instructing, teaching, etc.

It horrifies me that there are people forced into sexual slavery (both on camera and otherwise). I completely understand why someone who might otherwise enjoy pornography would choose not to support it/but it/watch it because they feel like can't tell the difference between pornography that was produced consensually and pornography that is not. But I object to the idea that women who are consenting to participate in it are being told that they don't matter, that they don't have the power to choose and that they are deluded if they think they do. There's a huge difference between being kidnapped and forced to have sex on film and a woman walking into a porn studio and signing a contract or setting up with a webcam and a paypal account to make some extra money.

How have we gotten the idea that there is no way to tell the difference between consenual porn and non-consenual porn?

Just buy reputable porn from vendors like playboy or penthouse.
post #116 of 148
Quote:
Originally Posted by AngelaM View Post
I agree with this. While I, like everyone else in this discussion, think that non-consensual sex, coerced sex, and non-voluntary participation in the sex industry is completely unacceptable, I also think that it's unacceptable to claim that women are incapable of freely consenting to sex work. Indeed, we've heard from women right here on this thread who have talked about their own work and participation in the sex industry. Are people implying that they are wrong? Deluded? Incapable of making choices of their own? Acting without agency?

I also think that this line of reasoning leads us down a slippery slope. The same people who claim that women can't consent to sex work often also claim that women cannot truly consent to any sort of kinky sex, S/M, etc., and I find this extremely troubling...

I don't wish to make personal accusations or judgments about the choices of anyone who has contributed to this discussion. But, yes, I do honestly believe that women who participate in the sex industry are acting without true agency, and are being fooled into thinking that they can. NOT that they are foolish, or deluded, just that there are forces more powerful than one person's will at work.
I also think that there SHOULD be a world of difference between selling sex and selling other forms of labour. But there is a correlation between how we view stereotypically "women's work" such as caregiving, cleaning, retail, etc. and how we view prostitution. Although I don't equate cleaning and, say, fellating, neither is valued either politically or economically. Which brings me to my well-flogged dead horse:
women do not hold the power in our world, unfortunately.

I don't see how this argument can lead to not being able to consent, in her personal life, to S and M or kinkiness in general. S/M is about power, yes, but in a playful and private sphere.

Words, especially typed words, are so darnedly imprecise!

--Andrea
post #117 of 148
Quote:
Originally Posted by sisteeesmama View Post
How have we gotten the idea that there is no way to tell the difference between consenual porn and non-consenual porn?

Just buy reputable porn from vendors like playboy or penthouse.
There are some people who have stated that they can't tell the difference. If they don't think they can, I can understand them choosing not to buy any of it.
post #118 of 148
Quote:
Originally Posted by eclipse View Post
There are some people who have stated that they can't tell the difference. If they don't think they can, I can understand them choosing not to buy any of it.
I guess.

But I can prety much guarantee that whatever you think of Hugh Hefnef, he is not selling porn that was made using women who are being coerced in ways other than say flattery or generally socially accepted means.
post #119 of 148
Quote:
privileged by his gender
What does this mean, please? I don't understand. I don't think that men have sex priveleges that I don't have. I don't think that men have special priveleges when it comes to sex. The stuff that is legal for men is legal for women and the stuff that is illegal for men is illegal for women. We can all choose to either participate or not in sexual activities that involve payment.

I'm not saying that people are being treated as a commodity. Just that in these situations, sex is a product. Like, someone that plays baseball is not selling themselves, they are selling their skill. So, sex can be the same thing. In porn, people are providing a service to other people who enjoy watching other people have sex.
post #120 of 148
Quote:
Originally Posted by silkiemum View Post
In a patriarchal society such as ours, a female growing up in a culture which apparently condones the buying of women and girls by men, and the "need" for outlets for male sexual "urges", IMHO cannot truly consent, even if she is not being coerced by poverty or addiction or abuse. Until society changes for the better for women and women's sexual expression, then pornography (and prostitution) cannot be considered harmless.
I think this is an incredibly paternalistic argument, the very opposite of feminism, actually, as well as a very slippery slope. If women can't consent to work in the sex industry, what else can't they consent to because our society is a patriarchy? Using your logic, an argument could be made that we can't consent to marriage or children, either.

Quote:
Originally Posted by eclipse View Post
Yeah, the whole "women in our society cannot consent" thing is really bugging me here. There's a huge difference between men and women who are forced to have sex (be it on camera or off) and people who chose to have sex (even if they would chose something different if their circumstances were different). I think it's pretty insulting and dismissive of people who have actually been raped to draw parallels between their experience and a woman who would prefer to make adult movies while she goes to college instead of working at McDonalds or Walmart for minimum wage. I think it's also insulting to those of us who have actually been raped and otherwise sexually assaulted to imply that we are so damaged that we're the only kind of woman who would choose the sex industry to work in - and that women who work in the sex industry must be so damaged that they have to have been abused.
You said it much better than I did.
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