Archive for May, 2010

Sex work and stigma…where does it come from?

May 28, 2010

I watched a video recently about how legalizing prostitution/sex work would create less of a stigma.

I politely disagree. In the US – stripping is legal – yet it still has a stigma, why is that?

People often ignore how the simple nature of sex work creates a stigma,that really has nothing to do with religion, nothing to do with it being illegal. While it being illegal creates SOME stigma and religion definitely has a hand in it – these things can’t be totally blamed.

What about TV? What I’m thinking about is how the women from sex industries act on TV. I’m sure that the most dramatic ones are picked, I’m sure that they have a “profile” that they go through and that it isn’t representative of ALL women in sex industries (not even close) but to deny that it creates a stigma is bullshit. And just so people get an idea of what I’m thinking of – things like “Rock of Love” and “Last Chance at Love” as well as those on demand videos about the bunny ranch.

In terms of stripping and porn – the prevelence of boob jobs and other plastic surgeries create stigmas. Even superficial people claim to dislike superficial people. And could anything be more superficial than going under the knife for appearences? Risking one’s own life to look “sexy”? Nevermind how the sex workers with boob jobs in pop culture media always BRAG about their boob jobs (which never made sense to me…. seems like the only person that should be braggin’ about a boob job is the person who did the surgery).  It’s just sickening and it creates a stigma when these women brag about their boob jobs and put down women who don’t “measure up” or who have sagging breasts (something I’ve heard a lot of women with boob jobs put down).

The strippers and women involved in sex industries represented on TV are disgusting human beings. They are totally mean to each other, and seem to put male attention on a pedestal. It seems to be the only thing driving them. Sadly enough, I’ve known strippers exactly like this (though not nearly as mean as the women shown on TV).

Another thing that adds to the stigma is the very real fact that sex workers are helping men commit adultery. I’m personally not interested in marriage but a good majority of people are – and a good majority of people consider marriage a huge importance. I’ve seen sex workers on TV brag about how most of their clients are married men. And I can’t help but think – and you WONDER why there is a stigma? It would be one thing if they had some humility about it, some remorse, some sort of empathy for the woman on the other side but I never see that on TV. Of course the person in a marriage is fully to blame but when you hear these women BRAG about it – I can understand why many woman literally despise sex workers. It very well  is displaced – that despising should be directed at the men who feel entitled to spend money at strip clubs and get lap dances while his wife is sitting at home doing all the household chores and rearing of his children… But the very real fact that many woman seem to gloat about getting attention from married men and act like they’ve one-upped the wife at home, is going to create a freaking stigma! Heck, I do not like women like that who are NOT sex workers – why should sex workers who behave and act like this be considered any better? Because it is their “job”? That kind of behavior annoys me – sex worker or not, I actually think it is the most unintelligent, broken psychology type behavior you could imagine. Rather than pick on the feminists and blame US for the stigma because we refuse to ignore the abuses in this industry – talk to the women getting on TV and acting like vapid, heartless, narcissistic assholes. THEY are creating your stigma – not me.

And this goes for porn use too. How many women have sat back and settled with dealing with their partners porn use? Maybe men have to deal with this aspect too but I don’t think it’s nearly as prevelent. I know that I’ve felt resent for it. To be honest. These superficial women – with their fake tans, fake breasts, fake eyelashes, caked on make-up, etc etc hyjacking relationships that would have been otherwise fine without that element. That really fucked up feeling you get – where you wonder what this man you are with expects of you… To look like that? To act like that?

And then there is the imagery used in hetero mainstream porn. When women actually choose to do degrading things in porn – to gain popularity – it is going to create a stigma. For one – women have to find out that their partners are watching this kind of degrading porn and as any self-respecting woman might feel – it’s confusing. Because you don’t really want to be gagged with a penis, or have one in your ass but he spends a lot of time being turned on by this nasty, degrading imagery. I have ZERO respect for women who actively do this crap (like Sasha Grey) and make comments about how it is a full choice to participate in licking toilets etc in porno movies. It’s totally different when I know that a woman has been coerced into doing it but when they actively choose to do that shit – because they know it will get them more male attention – I feel like they are sell-outs. Having the type of sex that they won’t even have with the men that they love creates a stigma. They are creating this demand for a type of sex they don’t even want to engage in without the $.

Then there are the women who are trafficked, recruited by pimps, who are abused in sex industries and these very prevelent things create STIGMA. Sort of like how there is a stigma around purchasing crap made in China because no on is ignorant of the abuses those workers face.

The bottom line is that the biases I have against porn/sex work have NOTHING to do with religion, they have NOTHING to do with it being illegal. And even when it is fully a choice and I see these women putting down other women for how they look, or acting like they are the hottest shit since the first fire is going to create stigma and it seems like the whole “empowerment” bullshit is a lie. Because truely empowered people – have humility. They don’t ACT like they are gods gift to men or women. They don’t have an ounce of conceit. Truely empowered people compete with themselves – not other people. Empowered people don’t congratulate themselves for having a hand in ending marriages or helping guys avoid ending those marriages. Or even congratulate themselves for purchasing a pair of man-made plastic breasts. That isn’t empowerment. It’s called insecurity, depression and probably a lot of neglect.

I mean, the same woman who claimed that sex work being illegal creates stigma – participated in that boob quake thing on youtube – which seemed like a stupid excuse to jiggle ones boobs in a close-up. Which just seemed like another stupid excuse to get male attention. That kind of shit creates a stigma – especially coming from a feminist perspective. It’s not that I’m a prude, it’s just that it conforms to patriarchal Madonna/whore bullshit.  And these people think that it is feminist and empowering?  That’s like claiming the 50’s housewife was empowering. How is it that they can’t see how they are conforming – just on the other extreme?

It’s pathetic. Pathetic to put male attention above self-reflection. It’s impossible to blame this stigma on feminists who take issue with the sex industry. Open your eyes – look at how other sex workers are representing you – look at your OWN narcissistic behavior and think about it some more.