We demand that Rabble.ca end your association with Meghan Murphy as blogger

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susan davis
We demand that Rabble.ca end your association with Meghan Murphy as blogger

https://www.change.org/p/rabble-ca-we-demand-that-rabble-ca-end-your-ass...

 

May 1, 2015

Open Letter to the Editors of Rabble.ca,

We are feminists, grassroots community groups and organizations that support intersectional feminism. We are concerned about your ongoing relationship with Meghan Murphy as one of your editors. Murphy has been publishing material that dehumanizes and disrespects women with different experiences and perspectives than hers for many years, in particular Black women, women in the sex industry and trans women. By allowing Murphy to continue as an editor at Rabble.ca you are giving a platform to her hate and we are writing to demand that you end your association with her as editor and columnist.

Recently, Murphy published a piece about Laverne Cox's decision to pose nude for a US women's magazine. In her piece, Murphy attacks for Cox for attempting to achieve a “‘perfect’ body as defined by a patriarchal/porn culture, through plastic surgery, and then presenting it as a sexualized object for public consumption” and later mocks her and other trans women for  “spending thousands and thousands of dollars sculpting their bodies in order to look like some cartoonish version of 'woman,’ as defined by the porn industry and pop culture.”   

Laverne Cox is not a cartoonish version of a woman. She is a woman, a Black trans woman who is changing history by defining her own beauty and loveability in the public sphere.

For years, Murphy's racism and attacks on women who trade/sell sex or are trans have been tolerated or supported and published by Rabble, including this article where she pits Black women against each other, calling another Black trans woman (Janet Mock) "selfish" for using glamour to feel powerful--and again maligning a Black trans woman’s decisions about her body.

http://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/feminist-current/2014/05/bell-hooks-will-save-us-all-long-slow-death-popular-feminism.

Her anti-black racism extends to men as well as in this tweet where she calls for the death of Chris Brown  https://twitter.com/aurabogado/status/376380825542987776/photo/1

She is famously antagonistic toward sex workers and has a long track record of using degrading, dehumanizing language such as “prostituted women”, being ageist and factually incorrect by suggesting older women cannot be active sex workers, mocking and misrepresenting sex work activists and employing racist terminology such as “illegal immigrants”. We were shocked when on the pages of rabble.ca, she blamed Cindy Gladue’s murder on pornography, co-opting the deaths of Indigenous women in the sex trade to denounce our calls for rights and respect.

http://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/feminist-current/2015/03/owen-jones-its-political-flaws-matter-not-women%E2%80%99s-lives

 http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-debate/a-prostitution-solution-outlaw-the-customers-not-the-hookers/article12306020/

http://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/feminist-current/2014/04/feminism-new-misogyny-on-belle-knox-feminism-and-new-backlas

http://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/feminist-current/2014/12/feminism-existed-2014-well-other-years

http://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/feminist-current/2014/12/hi-media-do-your-job-love-feminism

This is not a question of free speech, it is a question of offering active support to bigots. For example, Rabble would not employ right wing christian fundamentalists for their opinions as their stance clearly undermines the dignity and humanity of communities they are not a part of. The same is the case for Murphy. She is a white, cis, non sex working person who writes with contempt about communities that she is not a member of. It is unjust of Rabble to financially support her bigotry. Rabble is stronger and more relevant when it publishes the voices of those who are directly impacted by the issues they cover. Doing otherwise has made Rabble unsafe for many members of marginalized populations who write from a place of personal experience.

Other feminists and womanists have taken notice.

http://www.thefrisky.com/2015-04-27/the-soapbox-on-laverne-coxs-nude-photo-spread-meghan-murphys-transphobia/?utm_source=share-tw&utm_medium=button

http://www.theroot.com/blogs/the_grapevine/2013/12/twitter_feminism_meghan_murphy_sparks_outrage_on_black_twitter.html

http://www.gradientlair.com/post/70596255418/stop-dismissing-women-of-colour-feminsts

We support working with people to transform their politics toward more equity and accountability. Despite endless attempts, Murphy has remained unwilling to evaluate her racism, transmisogyny and whorephobia. We've chosen to use an open letter as a medium, only after all other avenues toward accountability have been explored and have failed.

We demand a discerning voice of equality and equity that respects and values all women including trans women, women of colour and women in the sex industry. Displays of racism, whorephobia and transmisogyny have no place in a progressive publication like Rabble. It is time for Rabble to take responsibility and cease offering a platform for hate in the form of zealous bigotry from Meghan Murphy and others like her.

-on behalf of

STRUT

Maggie's - Toronto Sex Workers Action Project

Black Lives Matter - Toronto

No More Silence

TransPride Toronto

Canadian Alliance for Sex Work Law Reform

Southwest Ontario Sex Workers

Stella, L’Amie de Maimie

PACE Society

Sex Professionals of Canada

Winnipeg Working Group for Sex Workers’ Rights

PIECE Edmonton

Butterfly (Migrant and Asian Sex Workers)

Toronto Migrant Sex Worker Project

ASTT(e)Q : Action Santé Travesti(e)s et Transsexuel(le)s du Québec

Shameless Magazine

 

Issues Pages: 
Regions: 
susan davis

i would add the voice of the BCCEC and the WCCSIP to this letter having delt with this for years....

mark_alfred

Makes sense.  I've never understood why Rabble has a Sex Workers Rights forum while simultaneously publishing articles decrying such rights.

Unionist

Brilliant logic, mark_alfred.

How about banning all the NDP cheerleaders who sat quietly while Libya was bombed, with the active support of Turmel and company?

Or anyone who has ever said a positive word about Cheri DiNovo, who supported a Conservative motion condemning Israeli Apartheid Week?

You want more examples? Thomas Mulcair?

I disagree with Meghan Murphy's stand on sex work. But if she is banned/fired/burned at the stake in response to this petition or whatever it is - I'm done with Rabble, both politically and financially.

#I.AM.VALENTINA

 

lagatta

mark_alfred, the feminist movement is deeply divided on this issue, as you know well.

6079_Smith_W

No kidding. Like there aren't dozens of issues on which we manage to balance different opinions. And one doesn't have to support abolition to recognize that it is a critical perspective that is important to hear.

Sineed

Unionist wrote:
But if she is banned/fired/burned at the stake in response to this petition or whatever it is - I'm done with Rabble, both politically and financially.

Me too.

Quote:
Despite endless attempts, Murphy has remained unwilling to evaluate her racism, transmisogyny and whorephobia.

These are lies repeated by people who cannot find any evidence for such. And what the hell is "whorephobia?"

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
And what the hell is "whorephobia?"

Like Russophobia, but with sex workers.

susan davis

Sineed wrote:

Unionist wrote:
But if she is banned/fired/burned at the stake in response to this petition or whatever it is - I'm done with Rabble, both politically and financially.

Me too.

Quote:
Despite endless attempts, Murphy has remained unwilling to evaluate her racism, transmisogyny and whorephobia.

These are lies repeated by people who cannot find any evidence for such. And what the hell is "whorephobia?"

 

its is term used by sex workers to describe the stigma and discrimination we face based on writings which promote myths aabout us and our lives and which meghan murphy is infamous for writing and publicizing.

and its not lies, they have provided links to the source of our frustration...

susan davis

6079_Smith_W wrote:

No kidding. Like there aren't dozens of issues on which we manage to balance different opinions. And one doesn't have to support abolition to recognize that it is a critical perspective that is important to hear.

 

why is it a critical perspective? why is it critical to think about ways society could destroy my community...? why can't we find ways to protect people from exploitation, sexual assault and other violence experienced by women and sex workers which don't involve denying the rights of sex workers who choose sex work? why does abolition mean end prostitution...why can't we all agree to fight violence...? why is it prostitution which is responsible....when we know damn well its not....

why can't we say out loud...

we will never end prostitution and trying to end it is killing prostitutes so let's instead end violence against all people, end poverty, end unfair wages for women...why?

6079_Smith_W

It is a pretty solid analysis so far as I can see.

As a comparison I don't support campaigns against voting, but I think it is important to hear the voices of those who do promote that, as it makes us rethink that institution.

Same difference here. Most of us do support some form of decriminalization and harm reduction, but there is nothing that brings the abusive and destructive aspect of sexual exploitation into focus like an analysis which is uncompromisingly opposed to it. That is why I think it is important to hear those radical voices, especially if we are going to allow a range of other viewpoints.

And it is an entirely different thing to have that argument framed from a feminist perspective than from a conservative religious one, so I don't buy that comparison to Harper.

 

lagatta

Interestingly, in France it is the right wing that supports prostitution, and that blocked the attempts by feminists to bring in something akin to the Nordic model. 

I don't support C-36 as I think it remains repressive against people in prostitution, but prostitution is anything but emancipation. 

If we want to abolish slavery we aren't "slave-phobic", or child labour, "child-phobic". There are lots of other industries within capitalism I'd want to see abolished, including weapons production and the toxic mix of the petroleum industry and the production of individual cars (and SUVs!) rather than public transport vehicles. That does not mean I hold workers in those industries in contempt. I've given workshops to Aboriginal street people here, many of whom were or remain in the street sex and/or street drug trades. I've never held those people in contempt, hard as their lives are. 

Obviously those with a history in the sex trade will be more likely to speak out against it after they have succeeded in leaving it. 

susan davis

6079_Smith_W wrote:

It is a pretty solid analysis so far as I can see.

As a comparison I don't support campaigns against voting, but I think it is important to hear the voices of those who do promote that, as it makes us rethink that institution.

Same difference here. Most of us do support some form of decriminalization and harm reduction, but there is nothing that brings the abusive and destructive aspect of sexual exploitation into focus like an analysis which is uncompromisingly opposed to it. That is why I think it is important to hear those radical voices, especially if we are going to allow a range of other viewpoints.

And it is an entirely different thing to have that argument framed from a feminist perspective than from a conservative religious one, so I don't buy that comparison to Harper.

 

 

when have decrim advocates been comprimising on exploitation and sexual violence...? we are oppossed to it, period. we always have been.

there is nothing radical about people who regurgitate the tired old victorian stereo types and who tote debunked researchas bible....

again, want something radical....? try letting sex workers have voice

susan davis

lagatta wrote:

Interestingly, in France it is the right wing that supports prostitution, and that blocked the attempts by feminists to bring in something akin to the Nordic model. 

I don't support C-36 as I think it remains repressive against people in prostitution, but prostitution is anything but emancipation. 

If we want to abolish slavery we aren't "slave-phobic", or child labour, "child-phobic". There are lots of other industries within capitalism I'd want to see abolished, including weapons production and the toxic mix of the petroleum industry and the production of individual cars (and SUVs!) rather than public transport vehicles. That does not mean I hold workers in those industries in contempt. I've given workshops to Aboriginal street people here, many of whom were or remain in the street sex and/or street drug trades. I've never held those people in contempt, hard as their lives are. 

Obviously those with a history in the sex trade will be more likely to speak out against it after they have succeeded in leaving it. 

 

wow, what a load of crap....now the french sex workers rights movement are the "right" give me a break. only exited sex workers can have a voice or are willing to speak?

way to dimiss every sex worker involved in and voting on the campaign being discussed here.

this is not about abolition and decrim people...it is about ethics in journalism, tolerance of discrimination and misrepresentation of the facts by media outlets and the people who write using debunked unethical data as the foundation of their position indirect conflict with the rules in this regard.....

 can you not see that?

its one thing to hold an opinion, its another to promote it as truth or to promote bad research as truth....it doesn't help anyone.

Iamcuriousblue

There's a claim being made that this represents a "no platform" action against Meghan Murphy. I don't know about the motivations of everybody behind this petition, but in and of itself, asking Rabble to drop Murphy is not a "no platform" action. It is not demanding that Murphy not be allowed to speak or publish anywhere, but merely not be given a platform by Rabble, because having her on Rabble's editorial board is a tacit endorsement of her ideas. Rabble is being asked to choose between a pro-trans, pro-sex worker feminism-from-below, and the dated authoritarian "radical feminism" of Meghan Murphy. It's becoming increasingly apparent that Murphy's stance can no longer be rationalized as "progressive" in any meaningful sense of the word, and no middle ground is possible on this here - Rabble and other progressive organizations need to take a stand.

Note that I'm about as close to a "free speech absolutist" as they come, and I'd be very against any attempt to either use state power to shut Murphy up (though that's highly unlikely, as Murphy if anything is if anything a mouthpiece for state feminism) or the privatized censorship of "no platforming", that is, demanding people lose the right to speak on college campuses, all media forums, etc. If that's what Murphy was facing, I'd actually support her in this, even as much as I despise her positions. But that is not what's going on here.

Rabble has as much right to choose representative writers as Feminist Current, which last I checked, doesn't have any pro-sex worker folks among its contributors, as is their right. I'll note too that Rabble also has the right to keep Murphy, but doing so would reflect badly on them as an organization, and they very much deserve to lose support if they go that route.

lagatta

Susan, I was talking about political exponents.

Anything you don't agree with is "crap", although I'm much more familiar with French politics and society than you are.

Iamcuriousblue

I also have followed the legislative battle in France. The sex worker rights movement there is not "right wing", and I defy you to show me examples of any notable figures in that movement that are. Thierry Schaffhauser, for example, is very much a left anarchist. He penned this several years back, which I think is very good retort to those like Murphy who claim the mantle of "anti-capitalism" for their anti-sex work politics:

 

https://thierryschaffauser.wordpress.com/2011/11/09/sex-work-and-anti-ca...

 

If anything, it's the sponsors of the French legislation, the French Socialist Party that, like many other social democratic parties in Europe, show a tendency toward neoliberalism in many of their policies.

lagatta

It isn't only the "social-liberal" Socialist Party that espouses abolitionism; groups far to their left do as well.  Moreover, certain progressive women in the SP were fighting for this against scum like Dominique Strauss-Kahn and other less gaudy misogyinists in the party. 

And many people on the far left are very much in disagreement with Thierry Shaffhauser's stance. I was NOT talking about sex worker organisations, just political exponents. I did not say that the sex worker movement was rightwing, rather that the traditional rightwing parties support the trade; some of their backers are closely tied to bigwigs in the trade. And in general, they see women as things to be bought and sold.

 

Iamcuriousblue

I did not say that the sex worker movement was rightwing, rather that the traditional rightwing parties support the trade; some of their backers are closely tied to bigwigs in the trade. 

 

So, once again, vague accusations of a shadowy "pimp lobby" working against the anti-sex work movement. Do you have actual proof of any such thing? (I mean, actual proof, not just ludicrous claims that Douglas Fox is some all-powerful puppet master behind opposition to the Nordic Model.) I'm also not buying the idea that there's broad consensus on the French left for the legislation and against the stance of Thierry Schaffaser and other SW rights advocates - I know there were some left groups (especially the remnants of the various Leninist parties) that got behind the legislation, but I'd like to see proof there was anything approaching broad support of the French left for the "Nordic Model".

 

Also, if the reasons behind backing this legislation were to spite Strauss-Kahn and the like, then that's clearly an example of single-minded fight against an opponenent without regard to who is hurt in the process.

Sineed

So far, the petition in support of Meghan Murphy has several hundred more signatures than the one against her.

Quote:

Women are human. Women will disagree. It's very anti-feminist to attempt to subvert the proper channels for disagreement and demand the termination of a woman's employment and/or her voice.

I'm a Canadian radical feminist who loves Murphy's work. I may not always agree with her but I will, on deeply held feminist and human principles, defend her right to speak.

 

Sineed

Quote:
So, once again, vague accusations of a shadowy "pimp lobby" working against the anti-sex work movement. Do you have actual proof of any such thing?

It's not so much a conspiracy but rather a structural oppression.

Meghan Murphy wrote:
Are we so 'supportive' of women's choices that we are incapable of understanding and being critical of the context of sexism and classism that might lead women to 'choose' to work in a strip club? And that, rather than critisizing 'women's choices' when we challenge the sex industry, we are actually challenging male power and men's choices to objectify and exploit women for their own pleasure/gain and an economy that fails to offer women opportunities to make a decent living that does not involve stripping, prostitution, or pornography.

Iamcuriousblue

"It's not so much a conspiracy but rather a structural oppression."

 

Nice try, but the theory of a shadowy (and wholly unsubstantiated) "pimp lobby" being behind opposition to "Nordic model" type policies on sex work does not come under the heading of structural/sociological understanding of the issue. It would be a news story if there was any "there" there, and lacking that, very much comes under the heading of "conspiracy theory".

 

"So far, the petition in support of Meghan Murphy has several hundred more signatures than the one against her."

 

If this were an election, that would be important. Yes Murphy has many supporters. She also has many opponents. Rabble will have to take a stand one way or the other for all the reasons I've previously stated.

hookstrapped

I think it might be good to have Murphy express her views here on a regular basis, all the better to be able to expose those views for what they are -- authoritarian, moralistic, and harm-inducing arguments gussied up in rigid "leftist" ideology.  For example in her latest piece about harm reduction in which she clarifies her opposition to, and limited understanding of, harm reduction. The similarities between drug prohibitionists and prostitution prohibitionists are thus made even clearer. Whether one's view of utopia is a Christian right-wing version or a feminist left-wing version, both radical agendas invariably legitimize ongoing harm -- infection and other causes of ill health, assault and abuse, and police terror.

Harm reduction, as it is well developed in regard to syringe exchange services and the health and basic needs services that surround them -- for a good example, see www.boomhealth.org in New York -- are low threshold entry points into comprehensive care that address an individual where they are. Where they are is a place that is largely the result of the entrenched structural issues around economic exploitation, racism, and patriarchy. Yet, that is where they are, and harm reduction seeks to improve their health and well-being in the context of that reality.  A fundamental aspect of doing so rejects judging and thereby alienating the people you seek to help, allowing people to arrive at a place where they are ready for drug treatment or, analogously, to leave sex work if they so choose. If Murphy's "radical" agenda discards these individuals because they are too far gone, lost to the destructive impact of the exploitative structures she is fighting against or, even worse, she exploits their suffering as evidence for the righteousness of her cause, then she is no different in effect from her right-wing Christian counterparts in the war on drugs and war on sex work. Prohibitionism of both types relies on the violence of the state to enforce its policies. How radical... to be unable or unwilling to see that as a major structural issue that causes harm.

But, just wondering, does rabble provide a regular platform for drug warriors/drug prohibitionists?

Unionist

hookstrapped wrote:

But, just wondering, does rabble provide a regular platform for drug warriors/drug prohibitionists?

I think that's a great analogy.

If someone wishes to elaborate a theory whereby heroin, cocaine, and other such drugs are harmful to human beings and tools of control by the state - that we should work together for their abolishment - but that our fire must be directed against the exploiters, not the victims, and that society's attitude to users be one of harm reduction and assistance and respect and not criminalization - yeah, if someone wanted to ban that viewpoint from Rabble (irrespective of whether I agree with that stand or not), I think I'd have some difficulty with that.

Sineed

As an expert in harm reduction with respect to addiction treatment, I suggest that the analogy between drugs and prostitution is false.

I am a CAMH-trained addiction medicine pharmacist who has spent the last 18 years dispensing methadone and Suboxone to people with addictions both in and out of jail. I also train nurses in the ministry where I work how to treat alcohol and drug withdrawal. But enough about me. Harm reduction is a concept that grew out of the ineffectiveness of abstinence-based programs for treating addiction, and the reason for that is the pathophysiology of addiction, a chronic disorder characterized by relapses. Abstinence-based programs would kick people out of treatment for relapsing, thus punishing people for the very behaviour that motivated them to seek treatment in the first place. Harm reduction programs tolerate drug use for patients in treatment with the larger goal of helping them address all the problems in their lives, and eventually getting off drugs if they can, but if they don't, at least the programs we offer are minimizing their harmful behaviours like needle use and needle sharing. Studies have shown that harm reduction programs are more effective at getting people off drugs.

But though there may be people who are addicted to sex, nobody is addicted to prostitution. In addictions, harm reduction prevents people from harming themselves in the face of a disorder characterized by compulsive behaviour. In sex work, the harm comes from without, from male violence and the predatory behaviour that sex workers inspire in some men. If we accept some drug use in the context of harm reduction, then the "harm reduction" with respect to sex work means that we are in some measure accepting male violence, minimizing the assaults, rapes and murders of sex workers as some vague "harm" rather than challenging the sex industry, male access to female bodies, and the toxic worldwide culture of male violence against women.

As I have mentioned previously, I am not an abolishionist, but I don't know if legalizing sex work completely is also the answer. This is a big country with lots of remote spaces. If long distance truckers are picking up aboriginal sex workers by the side of remote highways in northern BC, are those woman any more protected by any legal framework? I am not convinced. And why would we try and silence those feminists who would critique the context in which women choose to sell their bodies? Such efforts strike me as misogynistic and protective of the rights of men to access women's bodies.

Unionist

Sineed wrote:

As an expert in harm reduction with respect to addiction treatment, I suggest that the analogy between drugs and prostitution is false.

Sineed - thanks for your insight. I hope it's clear, though, that I wasn't drawing any kind of analogy between drugs and sex work. Rather, the discussion in this thread is along the lines of: What kind of opinions about sex work should be banned from rabble? I reiterate my conclusion that Meghan Murphy's opinions do not fall within that category. And I think we have lots of threads already talking about how to approach sex work to turn this into another one.

Let me put it even more simply. If rabble responds positively to this "petition", I'm done with rabble. Just repeating myself. And I'm truly hoping that others will get this message across loud and clear as well.

 

Sineed

Unionist wrote:
Sineed - thanks for your insight. I hope it's clear, though, that I wasn't drawing any kind of analogy between drugs and sex work.

I know you aren't, u. But the "harm reduction" analogy applied to sex work is a particularly toxic idea that is making the rounds as part of the neoliberal apologists' strategy to attack feminist critique of the structural inequities that lead women to sex work.

 

hookstrapped

Sineed wrote:

But though there may be people who are addicted to sex, nobody is addicted to prostitution. In addictions, harm reduction prevents people from harming themselves in the face of a disorder characterized by compulsive behaviour. In sex work, the harm comes from without, from male violence and the predatory behaviour that sex workers inspire in some men. 

You're making a straw man comparison by focusing on addiction as the source of harm and then stating the two situations aren't comparable on that basis.  To a large degree the harm that comes to drug users and prostitutes derives from the fact that both are criminalized, marginalized, and stigmatized. The commonality in a policy response that prioritizes and relies upon criminalization is that both drug users and prostitutes are forced to engage in drug use or sex work in a manner that compounds risk by exposing them to unique dangers directly tied to criminalization, and which also creates barriers to assistance that can minimize harms and help them change their circumstances for the better.

The other commonality is that criminalization of drug use and prostitution is primarily driven by ideological or moralistic imperatives that are put forward as more important than the health, safety, and well-being of those engaging in drug use or prostitution (with, of course, the requisite lip service to "victims" that their policies only further victimize). That is the contradiction that people like Meghan Murphy refuse to face, and I can understand why she refuses to face it.  But it doesn't mean the rest of us have to engage in that kind of cynical self-deception.

 

Unionist

This thread should be moved to rabble reactions. It's about whether rabble should fire Meghan Murphy. That's where it belongs - assuming it continues, that is.

 

Sineed

The harm that comes from the use of drugs (apart from cannabis; I'm speaking of heroin and cocaine, primarily) is compounded by legal sanctions, but drug use in itself is harmful. Drug users will compulsively keep hurting themselves to death in order to keep using. But sex workers are compelled by economic circumstances. Sex work in itself isn't something women need to keep doing in order to feel normal, the way it is with drugs. People are not physically and psychologically addicted to sex work; they just need the money.

As I have stated, I am not an abolitionist because I don't know what will keep women safer. I have read many compelling arguments that say it's the legal sanctions that result in harm to women. But we don't really know that's true. Are women protected from sexual predators if sex work becomes entirely legal? I'm not convinced. The radical feminists' critique, that imbalance of power and social inequities lead women to sex work is an important part of the discussion, and shouldn't be silenced.

hookstrapped

Sineed wrote:

The harm that comes from the use of drugs (apart from cannabis; I'm speaking of heroin and cocaine, primarily) is compounded by legal sanctions, but drug use in itself is harmful. Drug users will compulsively keep hurting themselves to death in order to keep using. But sex workers are compelled by economic circumstances. Sex work in itself isn't something women need to keep doing in order to feel normal, the way it is with drugs. People are not physically and psychologically addicted to sex work; they just need the money.

As I have stated, I am not an abolitionist because I don't know what will keep women safer. I have read many compelling arguments that say it's the legal sanctions that result in harm to women. But we don't really know that's true. Are women protected from sexual predators if sex work becomes entirely legal? I'm not convinced. The radical feminists' critique, that imbalance of power and social inequities lead women to sex work is an important part of the discussion, and shouldn't be silenced.

Thank you for your well-reasoned statement.  I apologize if I was harsh in my earlier comment.

quizzical

Sineed wrote:
So far, the petition in support of Meghan Murphy has several hundred more signatures than the one against her.

Quote:

Women are human. Women will disagree. It's very anti-feminist to attempt to subvert the proper channels for disagreement and demand the termination of a woman's employment and/or her voice.

I'm a Canadian radical feminist who loves Murphy's work. I may not always agree with her but I will, on deeply held feminist and human principles, defend her right to speak.

 

where is the supporting petition?

Unionist

quizzical wrote:

where is the supporting petition?

Here:

https://www.change.org/p/rabble-ca-we-need-meghan-murphy-2

 

Sineed

Unionist wrote:

quizzical wrote:

where is the supporting petition?

 

Whoops! Thanks, U Smile

quizzical

thank you unionist and sineed for bringing this forward.

Sineed

hookstrapped wrote:

Thank you for your well-reasoned statement.  I apologize if I was harsh in my earlier comment.

It's all good. We're having a reasonable discussion here.

susan davis

are we...? murphy defenders have named maggies in support of child rape....its never a reasonable discussion. its not reasonable here either. this section is supposed to be from a sex worker rights perspective but we're still seeing the tired old arguements about how sex workers should repent and understand how we are destroying society....

fighting against our industry is fighting against us and puts us at risk. if people are ok with causing us harm then at least the should own it. own that you know it will harm us and own that you think that's ok.

its always everyone else's rights before ours. i choose to do sex work, i do not have a pimp or an addiction....but you will all just say i am the minority so too bad for me....if i am harmed by attempts to abolish my commuity oh well, its for the greater good.

 

https://twitter.com/Wendy71x/status/594582675672928256

https://twitter.com/_anima_l/status/594598820614414337

 

discussions about sex work always end with "sex workers need addiction treatment, housing, education, counselling"....i have a house, i am educated, i am not an addict and do not want counseeling especially from some outsider with no clue about my life.

the subtle inuendo that once again we are part of the "pimp lobby" has occured in this thread too...not really in line with the purpose of this forum....which was for the sex workers and their allies to discuss these issues from a sex workers rights perspective...not from an accuse the sex workers of working for the rights of pimps perspective or the sex worke rights allies are the extreme right wing or any of the other discriminatory assumptions forming opinions here....

i mean really, can you people hear yourselves?

do you really feel oppression of sex workers is a "radical feminist" ideal? ....really?

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

Susan, asking us if we support oppression is like asking a man if he still beats his wife. There is no way to answer that isn't falsely incriminating. Likewise, accusations of prudery are neither helpful nor accurate. It comes down to this for some feminists: the commodification of the female body is antithetical to feminism. Sex work, by its nature, does this. We've no axe to grind over how many partners or what kind of s x you have - the business end of sex work is what we have an issue with. If you can't engage with us on those terms, if you continue to drag in distractions, then yes, some of will dismiss your opinion. I'd like to point out that this isn't the first (maybe 10th or 20th?) time I've pointed this out to you.

DaveW

Mr. Magoo wrote:

Quote:
And what the hell is "whorephobia?"

Like Russophobia, but with sex workers.

ha, quite the insider-ish Babble retort, Magoo!

where's N.Beltov when you need him/her?

Pondering

The link to Megan's article that is being critiqued is missing:

http://feministcurrent.com/11632/laverne-coxs-objectified-body-empowers-...

It is not just about trans women but all women who feel compelled to go under the knife to match an image of womanhood as defined by the porn industry and pop culture.

The fact that Cox’s body is seen as “subversive” because she is trans doesn’t change that. Her body doesn’t look subversive. It looks like any other objectified female body, sculpted by surgery and enhanced by Photoshop.

 

susan davis

Timebandit wrote:
Susan, asking us if we support oppression is like asking a man if he still beats his wife. There is no way to answer that isn't falsely incriminating. Likewise, accusations of prudery are neither helpful nor accurate. It comes down to this for some feminists: the commodification of the female body is antithetical to feminism. Sex work, by its nature, does this. We've no axe to grind over how many partners or what kind of s x you have - the business end of sex work is what we have an issue with. If you can't engage with us on those terms, if you continue to drag in distractions, then yes, some of will dismiss your opinion. I'd like to point out that this isn't the first (maybe 10th or 20th?) time I've pointed this out to you.

sorry, i don't understand this comment...where did i accuse prudery or discuss what kind of sex i have in this thread? this is about meghan murphy's continuing misrepresentation of decriminalization advocates motivations.

we are not the pimp lobby and are not working for the betterment of denis hof's or other pimps lives for example and meghan suggested in her article. i think the letter - the open letter - from sex worker organizations from across canada explained our issue quite well.

the suggestion has been that she should be allowed to continue and hey i support people being allowed to express themselves, however i do expect people to uphold professional standards especially in terms of promoting unethical or debunked data and of course for her to refrain from speculation about why sex workers are fighting for their rights.

my comments about victorian ideals relates to the exclusion of some women by other women in the fight to save women...which of course makes no sense but....there it is....it is anything but radical.

as i said before....you want radical try listening to sex workers.

susan davis

i do appreciate that some seem to understand the harms caused by people who promote myths about sex workers as fact....

hookstrapped

susan davis wrote:

are we...? murphy defenders have named maggies in support of child rape....

 

I think Sineed might have been referring to the discussion between her and me, not the broader disussion.  That broader discussion, I agree, is often off the rails.

hookstrapped

For those willing to have their preconceptions messed with...

https://www.lensculture.com/peter-schafer?modal=true&modal_type=project&...

http://www.pri.org/stories/2015-05-01/thai-woman-works-sex-industry-thai...

...or at least their idea of what policies should be pursued.

 

quizzical

susan davis wrote:
the subtle inuendo that once again we are part of the "pimp lobby" has occured in this thread too...not really in line with the purpose of this forum....which was for the sex workers and their allies to discuss these issues from a sex workers rights perspective...not from an accuse the sex workers of working for the rights of pimps perspective or the sex worke rights allies are the extreme right wing or any of the other discriminatory assumptions forming opinions here....

 

this discussion is happening in rabble reactions!!!!

Sineed

Quizzical, I think it was moved here. I could have sworn this thread was opened in Sex Workers Rights.

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

For context: susan says she doesn't understand my comment in her post #41. Susan, when you say things like "there is nothing radical about people who regurgitate the tired old victorian stereo types....", it sounds very much like you are characterizing those whose opinions differ from yours as prudes. There's no Victorian morality at play in the discussions about sex work on babble - some of us disagree with you for reasons that are not inherently anti-sex.

quizzical

when i started participating today it was in rabble reactions i believe, Sineed.

but maybe it wrongly started out in the sex workers forum.

Pondering

hookstrapped wrote:

For those willing to have their preconceptions messed with...

https://www.lensculture.com/peter-schafer?modal=true&modal_type=project&...

http://www.pri.org/stories/2015-05-01/thai-woman-works-sex-industry-thai...

...or at least their idea of what policies should be pursued.

When I asked if she would support her baby daughter growing up and entering the sex industry one day like she had, she said no; that she doesn't want her to come anywhere near where she works. And then she said, "If you want to say it's bad for girls, yes it's bad. But as long as we have to make money for our families, I think it's OK for me."

Approximately 1% of American men per year access the services of a prostitute. I think it is safe to assume that Canadian figures are similar. That means much less than 1% of Canadian women choose sex work or prostitution.

Women in Canada don't have to resort to sex work to survive.

As has been pointed out here there are women who willingly choose sex work as their best or preferred option but there are also many women who end up in prostitution due to extreme circumstances and who don't want to be there. Of course our first responsibility as a country is to help women who want to exit to do so. It is still more than justified to try to prevent women from ending up in that circumstance to begin with.

It is true that our social safety net is frayed and has holes in it but the tiny percentage of women choosing prostitution illustrates that the grand majority of women, no matter how poverty stricken, still avoid it.

In Europe the countries that have some form of legitimization find the workforce is 75 to 90% migrant workers. Amsterdam is closing windows, they couldn't keep organized crime out. There is no moral imperative for Canada to open the doors to a similar experience here. There is no evidence, even in New Zealand, of a reduction in violence nor in underage prostitution.

http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/human-trafficking-persists-d...

Prostitution as an industry is not a human right. We are allowed to not want this for Canada. I don't believe the desire of the tiny percentage of women who choose prostitution over ride the cost to Canadians of the establishment of a prostitution industry in Canada.

 

 

 

mark_alfred

lagatta wrote:

mark_alfred, the feminist movement is deeply divided on this issue, as you know well.

Yes, of course I know.  I still find Rabble's approach to the issue to be hypocritical and gutless.

The two positions (as I understand them) are mutually incompatible.  On the one hand, some argue that sex work is work, but that the current working conditions and legalities make it unsafe.  Thus sex workers' rights is the cry.  Others argue that it is a misnomer to label it "sex work", arguing that it is not work, but rather the unfortunate byproduct of a capitalistic patriarchal society.  Thus abolition of it rather than enhanced rights is the cry from some.

Again, the two positions are mutually incompatible.  And it is only here that I find Rabble allows such an incompatible stance.  Outside of sex workers, other groups' rights and fair working conditions are sacrosanct at Rabble, and are not open to be questioned.  

For instance, one could argue that labour unions are an unfortunate byproduct of a capitalistic patriarchal society.  Instead, there should be neither bosses nor unions.  There should be no hierarchical workplaces with antagonistic structures.  Rather, all workplaces should be cooperatively owned and run by the workers.  Unions, via their antagonistic approach to labour relations and acceptance of hierarchy, are antithetical to true workers' power.  Unions therefore should be abolished.

The above argument is nonsense.  But, it is one I've encountered over the years from some.  However, regardless of some people having this opinion, it would not be welcome anywhere at Rabble/Babble (I hope).  The right of workers to organize is seen as a basic and fundamental value as per Babble policy.  Yet rights for sex workers (even the acknowledgement of sex work as work that deserves rights and protections) is not seen as a fundamental value for Rabble.  Rather, there is a set up safe ghetto (the sex workers' rights forum) but otherwise it's open season.  I find this quite weird.

So, I feel Rabble should make up its mind where it stands.  Rather than cowardly trying to accommodate two incompatible contradictory positions, they should either simply say "we support sex-workers' rights as a fundamental value" and let Ms. Murphy know that future articles must abide by this, or say "we feel sex work is not work but rather is an unfortunate byproduct of capitalism that needs to be abolished" and do away with the sex workers' rights forum and allow Ms. Murphy to continue her writing unabated. (I prefer the former rather than the latter, but regardless, Rabble needs to make up its mind and emerge from its cowardly stupor)

Sineed

From Feminist Current:

Quote:
Legalising prostitution turns it into a business, turns it into a career option and turns pimps and traffickers into legitimate businessmen overnight. Legalising prostitution removes any obligations to provide exit services from what becomes a profession like any other, it can give a green light to organised crime and it formally defines women as commodities, as objects of exchange for men’s presumed natural needs.

http://feministcurrent.com/7758/arguing-against-the-industry-of-prostitu...

I suggest that sex work is not just like other work.

Quote:
Prostitution is, fundamentally, submitting to unwanted sex in exchange for money or some other material return. There is a physical and psychological reality to submitting to unwanted sex, this is something sex industry advocates refuse to acknowledge. This is the classic bait-and-switch of sex industry advocates; ‘sex work is work’ so we can’t talk about what it is like to submit to unwanted sex ten times a day, but, at the same time, ‘sex work’ is sex, and to say anything critical about it makes you an anti-sex prude.....I also ask you to challenge the liberal idea that any choice made without a gun to your head is a free choice. The ‘choice’ of prostitution is to give up the right to say no to unwanted sex.

https://autonomousradicalfeminists.wordpress.com/

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