'Anarchism and sex' article

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madashell's picture
madashell
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Nov 30 2006 14:41

I think when revol said "deal with" he meant "eliminate altogether".

arf
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Nov 30 2006 15:20
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I would suggest that legalisation of prostitution and the introduction of some basic legislation would atleast open up the possibility of organising.

leaving everything else in your post aside for now, have you done any research into areas where legalisation is being trialled?

here's one report
What Happens When Prostitution Becomes Work?
An Update on Legalisation of Prostitution in Australia

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madashell
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Nov 30 2006 15:41
Jack wrote:
Do you think this is always the case? Is prostitution a 'special case'? Do you think that all H&S legislation (for example) is always 'meaningless' if not backed up by self-organisation?

Well, it kind of is.

For example, the fact that it's illegal to make me use industrial cleaning fluids without gloves doesn't mean much if there's no way for me to make an issue of it without getting sacked.

arf
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Nov 30 2006 15:42
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I also thought the quote that 64 percent of prostitutes in victoria want out of the industry rather strange, I mean a quick sample of folks at call centres i've worked in would probably have produced similar if not higher results.

but theres some pretty big differences there, no? for example, the average age for prostitutes to start working, is 12. and a large proportion of these women have been sexually abused as children. don't those things make prostitution sort of different to other types of work?

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madashell
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Nov 30 2006 16:40
Jack wrote:
But if there were no H&S laws, then they could have you using even worse fluids. There are certain unhealthy chemicals that are outright banned - pesticides, cleaning fluids etc.

These get banned regardless of organisation, and I'd say it's a good, meaningful thing, like.

Fair point, meaningless is an exageration, but outside of the more extreme examples or specific circumstances (such as the use of chemicals they'd have to account for), without some kind of resistance from the workers, most H+S laws don't mean all that much.

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Nov 30 2006 16:56
madashell wrote:
radical feminists fail to recognise the clear, qualitative difference between consensual BDSM and sexual violence.

Unless I missed it, no one has yet challenged this. So do radical feminists see no qualitative difference between consensual BDSM and sexual violence?

arf
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Nov 30 2006 18:09
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So do radical feminists see no qualitative difference between consensual BDSM and sexual violence?

Well they see the difference between the two, of course, but i don't understand what you mean by "qualitative difference" so I don't know how to answer.

What does it mean?

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Nov 30 2006 18:31
arf wrote:
Well they see the difference between the two, of course, but i don't understand what you mean by "qualitative difference" so I don't know how to answer.

What does it mean?

A fundamental difference of kind rather than one of degree.

arf
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Nov 30 2006 18:40

Okay I'm not seeing why the essay I posted a link to has just been completely dismissed as shit or irrelevant (other than the most obvious reason..). as it says, the essay

Quote:
is a summary of Dr. Mary Sullivan’s Ph.D. dissertation at the University of Melbourne, entitled ‘Making Sex Work: the Experience of Legalised Prostitution in Victoria, Australia’, which will be published as a book by Spinifex Press, Austra-
lia, in 2006. Dr. Sullivan is a representative of the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women, Australia

I have no idea whether Dr Sullivan is a radical feminist or not, and I don't understand why, if she was, that would mean that her study and her work were therefore useless?

Australia legalised prostitution more than two decades ago with a bunch of claims about how it was going to be better for Australia and better for prostitutes. The point of the study was not to offer suggestions for improvements, although I have no idea whether the full book does do that. the point of the study was to see how the legalisation had progressed, and whether the original claims had in fact been fulfilled.

As for the 64% wanting to leave - I wouldve thought that was relevant. Because, if these workers don't want unions, or safer places to work, or for prostitution to even be legal in the first place, if what the majority of these workers want is to be able to leave prostitution, i would've thought that was an extremely important detail.

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Joseph Kay
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Nov 30 2006 18:57

yeah but majorities in most places i've worked probably want to leave ...

arf
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Nov 30 2006 19:01
madashell wrote:
arf wrote:
Well they see the difference between the two, of course, but i don't understand what you mean by "qualitative difference" so I don't know how to answer.

What does it mean?

A fundamental difference of kind rather than one of degree.

i'm still not quite sure how to respond. radical feminists do critique consensual bdsm, just as we critique pretty much everything else. but we don't think it should be banned, or that people who engage in it should be cast out, or arrested, and we definitely dont believe that consensual sex, however you're doing it, is the same thing as unconsensual sex.

does that answer the question at all?

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Nov 30 2006 19:09
arf wrote:
does that answer the question at all?

Well no, not really. What I'm asking is whether you think that BDSM and rape are both part of one continuum of 'patriarchical sexual behaviour' or you think that the two are different by their very nature? Which isn't asking if you thing they're the same thing at all.

And in any case, how can you have a 'critique' of certain sexual orientations without condemning the people involved? Can you imagine the reaction if somebody came on here and said that they have a 'critique of homosexuality' because it's a result of bourgeios decadance? Would that be acceptable?

Thora
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Nov 30 2006 19:29
madashell wrote:
arf wrote:
does that answer the question at all?

Well no, not really. What I'm asking is whether you think that BDSM and rape are both part of one continuum of 'patriarchical sexual behaviour' or you think that the two are different by their very nature? Which isn't asking if you thing they're the same thing at all.

And in any case, how can you have a 'critique' of certain sexual orientations without condemning the people involved? Can you imagine the reaction if somebody came on here and said that they have a 'critique of homosexuality' because it's a result of bourgeios decadance? Would that be acceptable?

Isn't there a difference between sexual orientation and specific sexual practices though? Gay or straight seems to be something you are, while BDSM seems to be something you do.

I'm not sure exactly what the radfem critique of BDSM is, but I'd have thought it was possible to argue that sexual behaviour is influenced by patriarchy without necessarily condemning those involved.

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Nov 30 2006 19:38
revol68 wrote:
Hetero or Homoesexuality is not something you are, they are something you do!

Not sure I agree with that. Having sex with somebody of one or another gender or with or without a ball gag and a lot of duct tape is something you do, sexuality is more about what you tend to prefer, surely?

Thora
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Nov 30 2006 19:43
revol68 wrote:
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Isn't there a difference between sexual orientation and specific sexual fetishes though? Gay or straight seems to be something you are, while BDSM seems to be something you do.

thanks Thora you've just underlined the essentialism of much radical feminism.

Hetero or Homoesexuality is not something you are, they are something you do!

And how is putting your cock in someones arse any less a fetish than enjoying having your arse spanking by a tory in a gimp mask?

I don't know. Does having sex with someone of the same gender as you necessarily make you gay? Lots of straight men seem have issues with having anything stuck in their arse in case it means they're gay, and many gay men don't have anal sex. So I'm not sure where that leaves us.

Thora
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Nov 30 2006 19:55
revol68 wrote:
Hetero or Homoesexuality is not something you are, they are something you do!

Also, can you be hetero/homo/bi without actually doing anything - having sex?

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Nov 30 2006 20:10
Thora wrote:
I'm not sure exactly what the radfem critique of BDSM is...

We could ask Dr. Buttplug?

Thora
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Nov 30 2006 20:17

What happened to Dr Buttplug? Did you scare her away Refused?

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Nov 30 2006 20:24
Thora wrote:
Also, can you be hetero/homo/bi without actually doing anything - having sex?

Yes, sexually, we can be anything, doesn't mean to say we always need to act on this. I'm not so sure about defining someone's sexuality as either something you are or something you do. I think it can be either... or a combination of the two and is often a blurring of orientation and preference, and this needn't be a constant state of affairs as some of us can be changeable.

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Nov 30 2006 20:27
Thora wrote:
What happened to Dr Buttplug? Did you scare her away Refused?

If anyone was scared in that exchange it was me.

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Dec 2 2006 07:20

arf:

madashell wrote:
What I'm asking is whether you think that BDSM and rape are both part of one continuum of 'patriarchical sexual behaviour' or you think that the two are different by their very nature?

*cough*

tongue

arf
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Dec 2 2006 13:49

sorry, i just checked in and havent thought about how to answer. its my birthday this weekend smile

they are both on the continuum of patriarchal sexual behaviour, as is all sexual behaviour, because, um, we all grew up in a patriarchy.

but

they are different by their very nature, in that one is consensual, and one is not.

what do you think? do you think it's possible to engage in any sexual behaviour that is not influenced by our indoctrination into the patrarchal system? is sexual practice "out of bounds" for political analysis? is analysis or critique the same as condemnation?

interested in how this discussion develops but im off to enjoy turning thirty, so forgive me if i dont respond to any further questions immediately.

arf
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Dec 2 2006 14:08

well that is why it is important that we discuss consent with each other and with our sexual partners. thats what makes it meaningful, that we discuss it honestly with each other. bdsm practitioners understand this, hence safe words.

arf
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Dec 2 2006 14:40

as usual, you havent got a clue what you're talking about.

Quote:
consent was meaningless under patriarchy

i have a feeling that you're referring to a very specific instance, where marital rape was legally impossible, therefore consent was a (legally) meaningless term within marriage.

arf
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Dec 2 2006 15:19
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Michael Moorcock: After Right-Wing Women and Ice and Fire you wrote Intercourse. Another book which helped me clarify confusions about my own sexual relationships. You argue that attitudes to conventional sexual intercourse enshrine and perpetuate sexual inequality. Several reviewers accused you of saying that all intercourse was rape. I haven’t found a hint of that anywhere in the book. Is that what you are saying?

Andrea Dworkin: No, I wasn’t saying that and I didn’t say that, then or ever. There is a long section in Right-Wing Women on intercourse in marriage. My point was that as long as the law allows statutory exemption for a husband from rape charges, no married woman has legal protection from rape. I also argued, based on a reading of our laws, that marriage mandated intercourse—it was compulsory, part of the marriage contract. Under the circumstances, I said, it was impossible to view sexual intercourse in marriage as the free act of a free woman. I said that when we look at sexual liberation and the law, we need to look not only at which sexual acts are forbidden, but which are compelled.

The whole issue of intercourse as this culture’s penultimate expression of male dominance became more and more interesting to me. In Intercourse I decided to approach the subject as a social practice, material reality. This may be my history, but I think the social explanation of the all sex is rape slander is different and probably simple. Most men and a good number of women experience sexual pleasure in inequality. Since the paradigm for sex has been one of conquest, possession, and violation, I think many men believe they need an unfair advantage, which at its extreme would be called rape. I don’t think they need it. I think both intercourse and sexual pleasure can and will survive equality.

It’s important to say, too, that the pornographers, especially Playboy, have published the all sex is rape slander repeatedly over the years, and it’s been taken up by others like Time who, when challenged, cannot cite a source in my work.

from here

revol wrote:
Arf can you help explain the historical antipathy that radical feminism has displayed to even consentual BDSM?

for future reference, it's "consensual".

why dont you have a look around yourself revol? bear in mind that there is just as much (if not more) written about radical feminism that is false than is true, as is also true about anarchism or communism. if you are genuinely interested in radical feminism, why don't you do your own homework? why dont you spend some time reading radical feminists?

until you've done that, how about you stop pretending that you have the vaguest clue about it? there are subjects on which you are apparently educated that i wouldn't have a clue about, and i would never assume to join in those discussions chanting "its shit, prove it, its shit, i dont accept that" in the way you keep doing. why do you need to be seen to be right about everything? why cant you accept that you are not intellectually superior to everyone else on every subject? why do you think you have nothing left to learn, or to question?

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Serge Forward
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Dec 2 2006 15:37

Arf, without getting into a 'who said what?' discussion, revol68 is right in that in the past, radical feminists have been incredibly hostile to anything that smacked (ouch) of bdsm, as well as this big tendency to place all sexual relations on some kind of patriarchal/rape continuum. Now you might not be aware of all this because, as you say, you're not yet 30. But some of us were around in the early 80s when this kind of dogma was at its peak. And it was friggin awful. I'm happy to see you have not rejected notions of consensuality however, unlike many of your radical feminist predecessors.

arf
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Dec 2 2006 15:40
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Dworking and Mackinnon to push for a ban on pornography

it's Dworkin and no they didnt. read more here

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the basis of all radical feminism..

radical feminism is not a single issue political position