A Tiny Point about “choice”

When people bring up the point of “choice” in terms of pornography – a thought usually comes into my mind…

Do we have to back people up on their choices?  REALLY? Doesn’t that seem a bit………..compliant? Isn’t that just a cop-out?  Not all choices are created equal!!!

I’m not going to bother explaining the dynamics of “choice” when it comes to sex work because as radical feminists – we’ve jumped through these loops before…

What I’m making a point about is that even if a woman chooses FULLY to be in pornography (and I mean – they have other options for income, are educated) – why should people expect me to back up their choices? Especially when those choices have created a world of hell for ME (and other women who don’t want to conform to the mass marketed, male-centric, generic female sexuality).

And is that even a justification for buying pornography?  A lot of men (esp. MRAs) try to justify their porn use because the women in porn made the choice to do it…. But my point is – that doesn’t really address ANY of the points radical feminists make. And let’s be honest – the “choices” these women make in doing porn are not at all the reasons men view it.  A woman’s choice to do porn has nothing to do with a mans choice to consume it. They are completely full of it when they try and claim that had any driving force in their decision to consume it.

A lot of people “choose” to be heroin/crack/coke etc addicts.  Are you going to give them money to keep up their habit based on the idea that they made a choice to live with those addictions? Are you gonna pat them on the back and say, “good for you buddy, stand by your choices!” (couldn’t a drug dealer use that same twist?) Should we not care, simply because they chose that road OR would you admit that it is a poor choice and refuse to feed that persons addiction? I’m not trying to claim that being a porn actress is addictive (though with the way women talk about how hard “getting out” of the industry is – it does sometimes seem that way). I’m just making the point that not all decisions are good, not all decisions are healthy – for individuals or society at large.  Would you hand all your money over to someone who started a war, just because it is a “choice” someone made? because I think pornography is war against women; I full-heartedly believe that it is a backlash of womens’ advancement in society. I use that example because while women might be actually choosing to do porn in many situations –  other women, didn’t choose to have to deal with it. Just as the women in wars didn’t choose to have their kids murdered, or deal with wars in their back yards. There are children in this world that didn’t choose to be exposed to pornography (and people who think children are protected from it are not thinking it through enough – it’s easy enough for a kid to lie about their birth date and get into porn sites). There are responsible choices and there ones that are completely ridiculous. Like being in a porn isn’t necessary an irresponsible choice but if you are in a porn, allowing degrading things to happen to you for mass marketing – it is an irresponsible choice (when and if, it is one). And I think I have every right to believe that. Just like I think factory farming (and the way all farm animals are treated) is irresponsible.  And I think the consumers are just as at  fault as the owners of such farms. They are saying “it’s okay to treat animals like this and I back up that decision and I will even give you my money to continue.” Men and women buying porn where women are being degraded are basically saying the same thing. They are saying it is okay to treat women like this. And what irritates me beyond belief is how people just stop there. They never ask WHY a woman might like to be treated like that?  They never stop to wonder why THEY might like to see women being treated like that (rarely do people ask themselves why they might like things they like – probably because the answers say horrible shit about them)… They never ask why or what if (like what if that was me in that scene?). This is exactly why I think purchasing degrading pornography is an irresponsible choice – people don’t ask themselves enough questions – they’d rather wallow in denial (as many meat/animal product eaters).

Like someone choosing to call a woman a “bitch” on television. It’s their choice to use that word but it really does have an effect on the person being called a bitch and the people who watch it – especially when it’s prevalent – it can affect people’s attitudes and maybe they’ll be quicker to draw that gun in a show down. Does someone using derogatory slurs get a free ticket, simply because it’s a choice they made? Or what about choosing to be racist? Is that cool or is there room for criticism in someone’s choice to hate people based on their ethnic background?

I’m not gonna get all paternalistic on women in sex work or anything… I’m just saying – why should I be expected to back up their decisions? I criticize our government. I criticize men. I criticize experiences. I criticize animal enterprises. I criticize magazines. I criticize beauty products. I criticize other things women seem to like or comply with. Why do women who choose sex work think that their choice is above criticism? Heck, I even scrutinize some of the things we have in this shop… Like Jute webbing made in Indonesia. When something needs that much protection, it makes me even more skeptical. 

It’s like with George W. Bush passing the  “animal enterprise terrorist act.”  – he was attempting to bar animal rights activists from criticizing the industries at all (also trying to become a dictator and prevent true capitalism from existing) – which basically makes me more skeptical of them. Get what I mean? The ironic part is that you can tell when you are dealing with a sex worker that actually chose to do sex work, because they are always the ones trying to prevent any thoughtful discussion on sex work (IOW – they don’t want to hear about any of the negatives – even when we’ve heard about them from other fellow sex workers) – simply because it is freedom for them – the women who aren’t free don’t matter.  But the women who don’t have a choice – always seem more than happy to expose that industry for what it is. They are the ones who aren’t afraid of admitting to the public how hard that line of work is. They are more willing to admit the psychological/physical costs for doing it. It also makes me think that people assume if you criticize porn – you are criticizing THEM. One of my major pet-peeves. I don’t get up tight when people criticize cigarette smoking or baggy pants on women (though the latter is just ridiculous to me).

I’d criticize people who use the word whore (and few would argue with me) – but for some reason, it isn’t cool for me to criticize women who voluntarily screw on video with a title like “slutty whores.”  Do we really live in a society where we can criticize just about anything that is anti-woman BUT pornography?  And all of the “sex-positive” feminists are happy to ignore the titles of mainstream porn, they are willing to ignore that CLEAR bias in the horrible treatment of the women – all in the name of “choice”.  Apparently women are only allowed to have one “choice” in how they view pornography and how it affects their sex. I get so  tired of hearing “but but but women do it by choice, so it’s good! It’s pro-woman!!!!”

I refuse to be silenced here. It is their “choice” to do this line of work but it’s also my choice to denounce it. Because honestly – it’s a horrible profession. There is NOTHING about sex work that makes me think ” Glamorous, let me jump up on that horse.”  You have sex with nasty dudes, that you don’t want. You have to pretend to like it – even if they smell like sweaty balls and rancid meat (and being cardio isn’t a good enough reason to erase THAT). That alone, ignoring issues of consent (and blacklisting) and all of the degrading things women do in mainstream porn, is enough for me to think that profession sucks (no pun). The only women who get to choose their clients, are the women who actually have a choice in prostituting or pornography (and even Jenna Jameson discusses how she had to have sex with guys that she found 100% repulsive – https://againstpornography.org/jennapornstarmyth.html). But for the majority of prostitutes – this is NOT the case.

This is why I get so peeved when people try to equate this line of work, with other lines of work.  I don’t have to have sex with my bosses. I’m not told I’d get paid more if only I’d degrade myself a bit more. I don’t have to be INTIMATE with my bosses, peers, co-workers etc at all. I have to deal with them, yes… But I don’t have to have their cocks in my holes. I might have to put on a happy face and tolerate people I might not necessarily like but thankfully, I don’t have to touch them or feel them and pretend to love it.

I actually don’t judge women who don’t choose to do prostitution or porn at all. Not a bit. I don’t judge them because they are making do with whatever means they got. And this is why I am all for decriminalization of prostitution (besides, it’s ridiculous that porn is legal when it’s really just prostitution on video, if anything – it should be the other way around). Because I recognize that the MAJORITY of women who do it – didn’t choose to do it (especially if the average age for a woman to get into prostitution is 14 – I don’t consider that a choice). I tend to favor the swedish model.

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