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

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Timebandit Timebandit's picture

susan davis wrote:

yeah sure, i feel so welcome here....pondering....there are plenty of links to quotes by murphy in the letter    click the links...

timebandit....i never said prudery...it was not implied...it was a fricken refernce to the votes for women being only for one group of women not all women....so stop trying to bait me ......please...

i likely knew what i was doing....wth....this is what is lossely refered to as a productive discussion....


Yes, yes, I'm familiar with the routine. Butter wouldn't melt in your mouth, wounded innocence, I had no idea of the implication, big meanies not making you feel warm and fuzzy. Yadda, yadda, so on and so forth. We've done the dance before. As to the links - as I said, wildly out of context and with commentary further misrepresenting them to amp it all up. I know "histrionic" is frowned on here, but I'm having difficulty finding a more apt adjective. The whole thing is an utterly vindictive vendetta and it shouldn't go any further.

mark_alfred

Iamcuriousblue wrote:

BTW, I notice that the "We need Meghan Murphy" petition is authored by one Diana Boston. Some might remember her from an extended racist rant against a Latina sex worker on YouTube Diana had a particular dislike of:

 

http://www.i-tube.net/video/divinity-falls-off-the-pole-1

http://www.i-tube.net/video/divinity-falls-off-the-pole-2

http://www.i-tube.net/video/divinity-falls-off-the-pole

 

Such a vanguard of all things egalitarian, this radical feminism.

That person is the author of the "We need Meghan Murphy" petition?  Really? 

Iamcuriousblue

Mark - Yep - Vancouver's one and only Diana Boston, aka Sael Palani, aka FeministX, aka Mancheez, and many other pseudonyms. But google "Diana Boston" and you'll see a long history there.

Now you could say this is just guilt by association. But the thing is, Meghan Murphy and company are playing that game in spades (OMG, Noah Berlatsky publishes in Playboy!), not even giving a second thought at the toxic crap that festers in their community.

6079_Smith_W

And this matters how?

The only thing that is surprising me is how this going from bad to worse in the personal attack department.

Not sure if this is going to win you any converts.

Slumberjack

Mr. Magoo wrote:
This seems a teensy bit illogical, to me. You can have sex with someone because they're your soulmate.  You can have sex with someone because you're bored.  You can have sex with someone because they have a hot bod.  But if you have sex with someone because they give you $100, that's problematic.  And conversely:  You can give someone $100 for an old baseball card. You can give someone $100 because their crowdfunding appeal touched your heart.  You can give someone $100 because you're drunk and feeling giddy.  But if you give someone $100 because they had sex with you, that's problematic.

From the other thread.  Yeah I don't quite get the notion where someone considers not only their body, but everyone else's too, as some sort of temple where monetary exchanges are forbidden.  Out with the money changers!

 

 

Pondering

So is anyone claiming that Megan Murphy is Diana Boston or has endorsed her?

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
So is anyone claiming that Megan Murphy is Diana Boston or has endorsed her?

Not that I can see.  I think it might have been the link to Boston's petition that begat this.

Quote:
And this matters how?

If the original letter demanding Murphy's termination had been penned by Dmitri The Lover, d'you think that might have been noted at some point in the discussion?  Or would everyone just evaluate his words on their own merits?

Slumberjack

I support decriminalization as a community driven, empowering, harm reduction strategy, and feel that attacks against the respective elements of this community, by the police, by violent men, by fanatics, needs to stop.

Slumberjack

Mr. Magoo wrote:
If the original letter demanding Murphy's termination had been penned by Dmitri The Lover, d'you think that might have been noted at some point in the discussion?  Or would everyone just evaluate his words on their own merits?

Why not?  If the already existing, unmitigated collateral damage that occurs in the industry is the price people are willing to have others pay in order to shore up a certain orthodoxy, then anything is possible.

Slumberjack

Timebandit wrote:
It isn't hard to imagine that when the writers of the letter say "We support working with people to transform their politics toward more equity and accountability." they actually mean, "we support telling you what to think and how to think it so that we are never challenged". If they actually wanted a discussion or to "work with" people who don't agree with them, they wouldn't be engaging in vindictive vendettas to get people fired.

Ideally yes.  For good reasons, such sentiments are hardly ever extended in the realm of politics.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Evidently.

I stopped watching the first i-tube video about twenty seconds in, at

Quote:
... this is the fat chola fucking idiot psychobabbling me... this is an upload on a channel called 'feminigism' dedicated to Divinity and her fuckin' drama.  So let's fuckin' play this video so I can just smack this chola down.
 

And here's her, in the text of the petition:

Quote:
This small group of people think it's appropriate to silence any woman's voice that doesn't march lock step in line with their opinions and politics.

...

If people can't handle an alternative opinion then they should use their respective voices and spaces, not try and silence dissent.

Ed'd to add:  just moved this from the other thread:

Quote:
You can do whatever you want with your body. It's the monetary exchange that is so problematic.

This seems a teensy bit illogical, to me.

You can have sex with someone because they're your soulmate.

You can have sex with someone because you're bored.

You can have sex with someone because they have a hot bod.

But if you have sex with someone because they give you $100, that's problematic.

And conversely:

You can give someone $100 for an old baseball card.

You can give someone $100 because their crowdfunding appeal touched your heart.

You can give someone $100 because you're drunk and feeling giddy.

But if you give someone $100 because they had sex with you, that's problematic.

Pondering

Slumberjack wrote:

Mr. Magoo wrote:
If the original letter demanding Murphy's termination had been penned by Dmitri The Lover, d'you think that might have been noted at some point in the discussion?  Or would everyone just evaluate his words on their own merits?

Why not?  If the already existing, unmitigated collateral damage that occurs in the industry is the price people are willing to have others pay in order to shore up a certain orthodoxy, then anything is possible.

I agree that the "Pretty Woman" orthodoxy is damaging and ignores the harms of prostitution in favor of the fairytale version. The plight of the most vulnerable women and girls is neglected in favor of the free-market oriented approach.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
The plight of the most vulnerable women and girls is neglected in favor of the free-market oriented approach.

You mean the free-human oriented approach?  Where it's your body, and you're free to do work with whatever parts of it you wish?

I've noticed, though, that the argument that one should be free to do whatever work one wants with their body is now described as "neoliberal".  How's that working?

 

 

Slumberjack

What is actually meant by terms like 'free' market and 'neoliberalism' in this context?  As far as I can tell such descriptions are intended to disparage through association.  What term can be used to describe the situation as it currently exists....'the black market?'  'The underground economy?'

Slumberjack

Mr. Magoo wrote:
I've noticed, though, that the argument that one should be free to do whatever work one wants with their body is now described as "neoliberal".  How's that working?

It's funny how nobody uses the term 'Laissez Faire' to describe sex work as it is currently understood.  I think the word neoliberalism is used just to nasty things up a bit more.

Slumberjack

Pondering wrote:
I agree that the "Pretty Woman" orthodoxy is damaging and ignores the harms of prostitution in favor of the fairytale version. The plight of the most vulnerable women and girls is neglected in favor of the free-market oriented approach.

You had a good start on that, but then you decided to go with jibberish in the second sentence.

Pondering

Slumberjack wrote:

What is actually meant by terms like 'free' market and 'neoliberalism' in this context?  As far as I can tell such descriptions are intended to disparage through association.  What term can be used to describe the situation as it currently exists....'the black market?'  'The underground economy?'

I was about to delete my comment because I don't want to go where you are. Your intention was to disparage and insult abolitionists who are acting in good conscience out of a desire to protect women from abuse. You may disagree with us, believe us to be wrong-headed, but you choose to attack our motivation.

Your flippant disregard for survivors of prostitution and their allies is callous and ignorant.

This is just a game to you. You don't actually give a shit.

onlinediscountanvils

Slumberjack wrote:

As far as I can tell such descriptions are intended to disparage through association.

 

Of course they are. According to Murphy's supporters, the women behind the original petition are all 'neoliberals' and/or 'fascists'.

onlinediscountanvils

Pondering wrote:

So is anyone claiming that Megan Murphy is Diana Boston or has endorsed her?

Huh? They're clearly different people. Nobody is saying that Boston is Murphy.

Left Turn Left Turn's picture

mark_alfred wrote:
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.

My pposition is actually a composite of the two. Namely that prostitution is the unavoidable by-product of capitalism, and therefore we can't criminalize it out of existance under capitalism. I believe Frederick Engels wrote in support of this view.

Since we live with it by default, we may as well make it as safe as we can for those who practise it.

mark_alfred wrote:
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)

Given my own position outlined above, I'd be opposed to rabble chosing either side in this false equation. I don't support banning Susan Davis from babble and only allowing the abolitionist view of folks like Meghan Murphy. Neither do I support banning Meghan Murphy and only allowing decriminalization as a position.

Besides which, feminists don't agree on the prostitution issue, and to pick one side over the other would be to alienate a portion of current and potential audience and donor base.

Left Turn Left Turn's picture

Slumberjack wrote:

I support decriminalization as a community driven, empowering, harm reduction strategy, and feel that attacks against the respective elements of this community, by the police, by violent men, by fanatics, needs to stop.

Word

Slumberjack

Does anyone find it curious that the men here are mostly ok with decriminalization, even ones who support Rabble's editor, but women by and large are not ok with it?

lagatta

The gender differential in terms of decrim and sex work is a general trend in populations; not just babblers.

Slumberjack

Pondering wrote:

Slumberjack wrote:

What is actually meant by terms like 'free' market and 'neoliberalism' in this context?  As far as I can tell such descriptions are intended to disparage through association.  What term can be used to describe the situation as it currently exists....'the black market?'  'The underground economy?'

I was about to delete my comment because I don't want to go where you are. Your intention was to disparage and insult abolitionists who are acting in good conscience out of a desire to protect women from abuse. You may disagree with us, believe us to be wrong-headed, but you choose to attack our motivation.

Your flippant disregard for survivors of prostitution and their allies is callous and ignorant.

This is just a game to you. You don't actually give a shit.

If all else fails, cue the personal attacks eh?  My intent at the moment is to try and make some sense out of the abolitionist stance.  Evidently I'm not having any luck.  Is it because decriminalization would result in customers getting what they want without risk of being caught and charged by the police, and that as a society we really need these customers, who are mainly men, caught and charged by the police as the cost of thinking the way they do about a woman's body, as a commodity?  Instead it's for real feminists to oppose this and to help the police ferret out where this kind of thing is going on in secret?

hookstrapped

Slumberjack wrote:

Does anyone find it curious that the men here are mostly ok with decriminalization, even ones who support Rabble's editor, but women by and large are not ok with it?

That only appears to be the case if you ignore the voices of active sex workers, those who suffer under various criminalization regimes.  

As for who's commenting here, selection bias / not a random sample of men or women.  Like this man is very much against decrim...

http://titsandsass.com/did-8-minutes-lie-to-sex-workers/

Slumberjack

hookstrapped wrote:
That only appears to be the case if you ignore the voices of active sex workers, those who suffer under various criminalization regimes.  

Well, we don't want to double down on that, as it's already being done.

J. Baglow J. Baglow's picture

If Rabble.ca wants to publish Murphy's SWERF/TERF ramblings, OK, I guess. I won't bring up the "where do you draw the line" arguments, although frankly I wonder sometimes.

But let me note that Rabble.ca banned a post of mine which I think was rather mild--you folks decide: http://drdawgsblawg.ca/2015/03/politically-sidelined-part-2-cis-trans-ul...

If it all comes down to free speech and debate, then this selectivity makes no sense. Does it?

Slumberjack

Quote:
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”

Was this actually said?  Not sure what body type Laverne Cox was supposed to aim for in the physical transformation process.  Maybe the shape normally accrued to a person after the umpteenth bag of corn puffs, whereupon, a simulated diet might be undertaken, facilitated by more surgery to suction out some of the previously injected materials in order to approximate the desired effect?  Or would it have been better to just go with a non patriarchal/porn culture body and stick with it as some type of statement against said culture?

Unionist

J. Baglow wrote:

If Rabble.ca wants to publish Murphy's SWERF/TERF ramblings, OK, I guess. I won't bring up the "where do you draw the line" arguments, although frankly I wonder sometimes.

But let me note that Rabble.ca banned a post of mine which I think was rather mild--you folks decide: http://drdawgsblawg.ca/2015/03/politically-sidelined-part-2-cis-trans-ul...

If it all comes down to free speech and debate, then this selectivity makes no sense. Does it?

No, it doesn't. I'd like to know more about how and why rabble.ca banned your post. The opinions (or more properly, perhaps, questions) presented in it are an important part of the discussion about gender and the role that it plays in our society.

Slumberjack

I thought it was a reasonable blog post.  Some people seem to feel as if their very existence and identities as they know them are under threat of being erased if we're not emphasizing distinction anymore in the way that the dominant, commodified culture relays it to us.  I believe it coincides with and compliments the way today's hyper-security apparatus follows through on it's compelling need to fix everyone's status, identity and location.

hookstrapped

This is a new article out that might be of interest to those here. It's pretty unique for a number of reasons -- it focuses on johns, it was conducted in Canada, and it has a decidedly postmodern theoretical and practice orientation (but in an interesting and illuminating way!)

http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayFulltext?type=6&fid=9619472&...

J. Baglow J. Baglow's picture

I'd like to know more about how and why rabble.ca banned your post. The opinions (or more properly, perhaps, questions) presented in it are an important part of the discussion about gender and the role that it plays in our society.

I guess I should have followed the "easier to get forgiveness than permission" avenue, but I didn't want to embarrass my editor--I was in trouble once before with a satire about Mulcair, and I think he took some flak. I was told that the editorial collective refused the post because they would have to find a trans writer "for balance."

Set aside the notion of "balance" for a moment: I don't exactly see the editors running off to find sex-positive and trans-positive writers to balance Meghan Murphy. Again, it's the inconsistency that irritates me.

Iamcuriousblue

Pondering writes: "I agree that the "Pretty Woman" orthodoxy is damaging and ignores the harms of prostitution in favor of the fairytale version."

 

<eyeroll> Thanks for bringing up the "Adam and Steve" line of the sex worker rights debate. It really shows you have something serious to bring to the table.

 

Look - literally no one (regardless of whether they liked the movie or not) cites Pretty Woman (1990) as any kind of serious argument for sex worker rights, much less an "orthodoxy". Hence, this is a huge strawman argument.

 

BTW, there are a lot of takes on that movie from actual sex workers, not all of them positive:

http://titsandsass.com/lets-talk-about-pretty-woman-1990/

http://titsandsass.com/why-i-love-pretty-woman1990/

http://titsandsass.com/why-i-totally-hate-pretty-woman-1990/

6079_Smith_W

J. Baglow wrote:

If it all comes down to free speech and debate, then this selectivity makes no sense. Does it?

There are shutdowns and rulings here I think are out of line.

That doesn't make calling for someone to be fired for her editorials right.

 

lagatta

John, there is definitely at least one sex-trade supporter among the bloggers at rabble.

But please, "sex-positive"? As if people who consider the prostitution industry a harmful one to the people in it are somehow "sex-negative"? Frankly, that is bullshit.

6079_Smith_W

Mr. Magoo wrote:

If the original letter demanding Murphy's termination had been penned by Dmitri The Lover, d'you think that might have been noted at some point in the discussion?  Or would everyone just evaluate his words on their own merits?

Not sure what you mean. If it had been done just as a tactic (which I think was the case with Dmirti) then it would be significant .

But the notion that because someone else can be a pottymouth and isn't too careful on the internet that it is okay to silence someone else and Meaghan Murphy should be fired? Seems completely irrelevant to me. Again, this matters how?

No, I don't expect everyone to follow that rule, but yeah, unless there is something actually relevant, people's words values should be evaluated on their own merits, not based on whether they pick their noses.

And this turning to guilt by association and personal attack? As annoying as it is typical, and to me it only makes those who use it look bad.

J. Baglow J. Baglow's picture

lagatta wrote:

John, there is definitely at least one sex-trade supporter among the bloggers at rabble.

I imagine you're referring to me. Let me note, however, that I have never been asked by the editors to write a post to "balance" one by the other side.

I won't address your other point. That discussion is a bottomless pit.

Maysie Maysie's picture

Slumberjack wrote:
 Does anyone find it curious that the men here are mostly ok with decriminalization, even ones who support Rabble's editor, but women by and large are not ok with it?

Some women on the decriminalization side are tired of defending the position in this particular venue. Diminished numbers of voices here does not equal agreement. In the case of babble, many non white-middle-class-cis-feminist perspectives are absent. babble is hardly the be-all and end-all of progressive discussion. If that.

Thank you, susan davis, for your continued efforts!

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

Quote:

Ed'd to add:  just moved this from the other thread:

Quote:
You can do whatever you want with your body. It's the monetary exchange that is so problematic.

This seems a teensy bit illogical, to me.

You can have sex with someone because they're your soulmate.

You can have sex with someone because you're bored.

You can have sex with someone because they have a hot bod.

But if you have sex with someone because they give you $100, that's problematic.

And conversely:

You can give someone $100 for an old baseball card.

You can give someone $100 because their crowdfunding appeal touched your heart.

You can give someone $100 because you're drunk and feeling giddy.

But if you give someone $100 because they had sex with you, that's problematic.


Being male, you have the privilege of being able to look at it as an abstraction. Good for you. The fly in that logical ointment is that you don't have the cultural baggage over baseball cards that you do over female sexuality and male entitlement. And just to take that analogy further... You can steal that baseball card - so what's the equivalent for sex?

Iamcuriousblue

First, neither I nor anybody else is claiming that Meghan Murphy is Diana Boston. (Way to miss the point!)

 

I do think it is at least relevant that the petition Murphy and her supporters are circulating was started and carries the byline of a notorious bigot. If the situation were reversed and the petition calling for Murphy's removal from Rabble had an author that made statements that were even a fraction as problematic, you damn well know the radfem brigade would be shouting it from the rooftops. As it stands, they already tar sex worker rights advocates with made-up shit about "the pimp lobby" when they can't come up with any actual issues.

 

Ultimately, I don't think pointing out Diana Boston's bigotry is a bottom line argument against Meghan Murphy's politics - Murphysucceeds or (in my opinion) fails based on her own ideas. But I do think the example of Diana Boston does take the piss out of one rather anoying tendency of the radfem/abolitionist crowd, namely, their tendency to self-righteously position themselves as the truest, most awsome progressives of them all. (And correlary to this, those that diagree with them about sex work, kink, transgenderism, or anything else are labled a bunch of half-assed neoliberal "choice feminist" sellouts.) I think the example of nasty bigots like Diana Boston and Cathy Brennan operating pretty much unopposed in their ranks gives lie to that. Not to mention, denouncing someone like Noah Berlatsky for publishing in Playboy while conveniently overlooking alliances radical feminists often make with some rather nasty elements of the religious right.

 

6079_Smith_W

Actually both those positions at #138 are kind of wooden, and have obvious limits as far as I can see.

The only thing it illustrates for me is the pointlessness in this whole exercise of thinking one side is absolutely right and the other absolutely wrong.

Yeah there are philosophical differences, but when anger over those differences clouds any productive work on the actual issue, and making things better for people, there's a problem.

For some perverse reason I went last night and read what A Voice For Men had to say about this spat (and yeah, they have taken notice and weighed in with an editorial). It is, as you'd expect, mocking and insulting, and I agree with almost none of it. Funny though, that it is more measured than some of the things I have read here.

The comment at the end of the editorial about sitting back with popcorn and watching? That's a pretty good assessment of the level of this action, IMO.

 

 

lagatta

John, no, the person I was referring to is a woman. But you started "sex-positive". I didn't. I'd rather speak of groups' and individuals' position on the issue.

Slumberjack

J. Baglow wrote:
The silence (so far) from Murphy is troubling.

In fairness, the letter was not addressed to her specifically.  Maybe Rabble will be forthcoming with their position soon, I don't know?

6079_Smith_W

And @ Maysie.

They had my ear up until the point where they called on someone to be silenced and fired. Regardless of whether they make some valid points or not, pushing for that is way out of line. They disagree with someone else's position? This is not the way to go about challenging it, and it is certainly not how one promote's one's own position.

(edit)

And the silence is hardly surprising at all. Again, if it was me I don't think I'd be that interested in wading in and getting covered in this shit. That's all I see going on here.

 

 

Slumberjack

6079_Smith_W wrote:
They had my ear up until the point where they called on someone to be silenced and fired. 

Considering that this was the ask/demand of the first paragraph of the letter, which was subsequently followed by a whole raft of information, isn't that the equivalent of saying they lost you at hello?

mark_alfred

deleted double post

6079_Smith_W

Slumberjack wrote:

6079_Smith_W wrote:
They had my ear up until the point where they called on someone to be silenced and fired. 

Considering that this was the ask/demand of the first paragraph of the letter, which was subsequently followed by a whole raft of information, isn't that the equivalent of saying they lost you at hello?

Yup, so far as this stunt is concerned, you could say that.

Even if one looks at this in a completely linear way, this isn't a new issue, SJ. Nor hardly the first criticism of that writer's viewpoint.

I have no problem with the criticism, but rather the call for censorship. And yes, as I said upthread, I had problems starting with the first paragraph.

 

Slumberjack

6079_Smith_W wrote:
Yup, so far as this stunt is concerned, you could say that.

So for you the points being articulated more resemble a performing art?

6079_Smith_W

No, but demanding that an editorial writer be fired for her opinions is a shockingly bad tactic. Not just for what it says about those using it, but what it would say about any news organization that gave in to it.

 

J. Baglow J. Baglow's picture

I dunno about others here, but I'd be embarrassed, in fact angry beyond measure, if a petition supporting me were initiated by an obvious racist. I'd be up on my hind legs denouncing any such "support." The silence (so far) from Murphy is troubling.

Here, by the way, is the list of organizations who want Murphy fired, as noted by the initiator of this thread: ASTT(e)Q : Action Santé Travesti(e)s et Transsexuel(le)s du Québec, Black Lives Matter — Toronto, Butterfly (Migrant and Asian Sex Workers), Canadian Alliance for Sex Work Law Reform, Maggie’s - Toronto Sex Workers Action Project, No More Silence, PACE Society, PIECE Edmonton, Sex Professionals of Canada, Shameless magazine, Southwest Ontario Sex Workers, Stella, L’Amie de Maimie, STRUT, Toronto Migrant Sex Worker Project, TransPride Toronto, and the Winnipeg Working Group for Sex Workers’ Rights.

These have been stupidly described as "neo-liberal" by the Murphy supporter in her counter-petition.

Neo-liberal? Come on. I might not want Murphy banned, but this sort of stuff goes way over the edge.

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