Outdated Thoughts: November 2014

Outdated Thoughts: November 2014

I found boogers under my desk (which I share) at work. Haven’t felt this sick to my stomach since I watched The Cove.

I purchased PornographyFAQ.com. Watch out.

Violence against women.

Yes – all men are a part of the problem, and yes – all men need to accept responsibility for their part in perpetuating violence in their complicit silence and ignorance.

And when I say #‎YesAllMen I mean #yesALLmen and that includes you. I don’t care how nice you are. You have an obligation as a person who alleges to care about half of the globe by putting that into practice, be it a post, standing up against a friend’s rape joke, or stop pumping your money into entertainment that normalizes violence against people born without penises.

Amy‘s film has just been picked up for distribution!!!!! Theaters in April!

I am so proud of my partner’s continued perseverance and fight against rape culture, and I’m grateful that the company (Amplify) not only gets this, but wants to fight rape culture with Amy at the forefront.

Amplify Acquires Docu-narrative Felt to Help Shed Light on Rape Culture

UGH I just started mansplaining rape culture without realizing I was doing it. These ugly roots run deep.

I was wrong about feminism. Advocating for equality isn’t enough.

For months I’ve been posting about “equality of the sexes” this and “subordination of women” that. I was determined that being a mere feminist was the way to go. But it’s not enough. It’s an ideal that sounds really righteous in principle but in practice it’s literally not possible in the world we live in.

The whole globe over, the human race has adopted the imaginary idea that females are inherently subordinate to males, as though the neurological and biological differences between us inherently make for a lesser or greater human. That it’s really, REALLY fucking normal for a man to ask permission from a woman’s father to take her away is all the reminder I need that equality, in our present system, makes no sense. Are women going to equally ask their men’s mother’s for the right to her son, or are we going to remove this tradition? Are women going to rape men just as equally, or are we going to abolish rape? Are women going to own half of the entertainment industry and introduce men by panning up from their legs to their dicks, or are we going to stop objectifying women? Are men going to be groomed to believe that their bodies don’t belong to themselves from the moment they’re born, or are we going to stop teaching this to little girls? Are women going to go on an equal amount of shooting sprees in high schools, or are we going to address male violence seriously? Are men are going to be physically, financially, sexually, abusively coerced into prostitution and told it’s “empowerment”, or are we going to abolish prostitution globally? Under this vague idea of equality, is “pussy” going to be synonymous with power, or is “penis” going to be emblematic of weak? Which is it? I’ve spent enough time with my dick between my legs to recognize that all it takes is a swift kick to be reminded that it isn’t really anything more than a sack of blood and muscle.

Equality of the sexes? In this world, that’s nonsense.

I want the abolishment of patriarchy. I’m a radical feminist.

I like the Wiki definition: Radical feminism is a perspective within feminism that focuses on the hypothesis of patriarchy as a system of power that organizes society into a complex of relationships based on the assertion that male supremacy oppresses women.

What Does It Look Like This Equality You Speak Of?

Pornography is compatible only with misogyny. To like pornography one has to have internalized women-hating to some degree.

One cannot be a feminist and dignify the present paradigm of pornography as anything other than the subjugation of females.

If your definition of equality includes the right for a man to rape women on film for cash (read: all porn), you’re not worth my time.

For years I believed I was doing the right thing, supporting, advocating for, and playing devil’s advocate to the sex industry. I resorted to unproven myths as the entire basis of my rationale, like “Legalizing the buying of women will make Prostitution Safer” or “Legalization will reduce trafficking” or “Pornography is empowerment”. I’d roll my eyes at the words of abolitionists. Not so long ago, I even ran a website that hinged on the belief that johns have just as much of a right to speak as do prostituted persons. Embedded in my thinking was the given, that prostitution and pornography always were, so too they must be.

UGH. I was wrong. Wrong. Wrong. I sincerely regret lending my support. All of it. Every thought, every word, every page, every penny. I was a smart person without a brain. A scholar without any research. An advocate without a clue.

Though I have knots in my stomach owning up to the mistaken avenue of thinking I was headed down, admitting I was wrong feels a hell of a lot better knowing that I can’t perpetuate further harm. Until this point, I sincerely hope that I have not convinced anybody that this industry is a good one. Because it’s not. It’s horrible. And I’m sorry I was a willful, ignorant participant in its misogynistic charade for so long.

Overwhelming evidence – that the entirety of the industry is actually oppressive, marginalizing of women, exploitative of children, literally murderers of the oppressed – came to my attention over the last year that changed me. I’ve spent countless hours since then reading and informing myself about the history of the industry, familiarizing myself with survivors and proponents of abolition, befriending, conversing with, and learning to trust people whom I would not have shared a vocabulary with just twelve months ago. People who might have provoked my eye roll at some point in time. The data is elaborated on at length in many of the books in my Study List on my personal site, but a recent article has come to my attention that summarizes some of the very same facts that succinctly pulled me in the direction I’m headed down now:

It has been proven (in research conducted on legal paradigms in Australia, Ireland, & the Netherlands) that legalizing prostitution increases violence against women and child trafficking. It has been proven, with Sweden’s abolishing of prostitution, that making it a crime to purchase women and children decreases violence against women and decreases child trafficking.

You can’t ignore that. You can’t.

If I can stop devil’s advocating for the side of the oppressor, then I maintain that you can, too.

The creator of the Dismantle Misogyny page on Facebook invited me to admin. As I take some small pleasure in eviscerating trolls, I agreed.

Once I was on there, I shared my Grand Theft Auto 5 post. The comments on the Facebook page got heated pretty quickly.

The heat, however, had nothing to do with the misogyny of the game, nor about the misogyny of the world. It was entirely to do with my use of the term “prostituted person”. Against the liberal feminist insistence of normalizing the concept of a “sex worker”, I maintained that prostitution shouldn’t be dignified as “sex work”. Why? It’s look-at-what-the-johns-you’re-standing-up-f0r-think-of-you-via-GTA5-obvious why.

In short, I got SWERFed.

I thought about inserting a paragraph here wherein I dignify their liberal feminist position with my unique brand of empathy, but have decided against it. You want to make “sex worker” a thing? Then stand by your johns and your pimps and your brothel operators and your rapists. Prostitution is incompatible with freedom; it is sexual slavery. As for the rare few individuals that do actually have a say in the decision to sell their own bodies – without coercion of any kind whatsoever – and who may even be convinced that it is an exercise in sexual liberation – these individuals owe it to their sisters to not make that decision. Why? It’s I’m-doing-fine-so-fuck-you-vast-majority-of-women-and-children-who-don’t-have-a-choice-obvious why. If it’s truly a matter of choice, don’t choose it. Fuck your individualism.

Misogyny: 1, Michael: 0.

Needless to say, the creator of the page wrote me.

Hey I just wanted to let you know so it wouldn’t come as too much of a surprise.

I was very concerned with the statements made in regards to sex work underneath your article about GTA5. It came off as SWERF content to me as I was reading through it. I cannot have my page be associated with anti-sex worker material as I am trying to cultivate an environment that is friendly towards all feminists, including sex workers. You are still welcome to comment on the page, but I did remove you as admin.

Thank you for helping while you could and take care.

I responded.

Thank you for the message.

I’ve been drafting a message to you in my head rescinding admin privileges, so I’m glad we are seeing eye to eye that there is a fundamental difference of ideology between myself and your page.

I do appreciate what you’re trying to do with your page. As a through line, however, the dismantling of misogyny cannot coexist with a paradigm that abuses children and women on an epidemic scale. I know I’m not going to convince you the duration of my message that supporting the industry is an insidious and problematic position, but believe me when I say that I am anti-john and anti-pimp – maintaining my position and my values of caring for (statistically) economically and otherwise coerced females is in no way anti-woman. I believe in the freedom of choice but the vast, vast majority of “sex workers” have no other choice. That’s coercion. And I know that you know that coercion is not the same thing as consent.

And maintaining a page called “Dismantling Misogyny” but disallowing critical thinking (and citing sources and being specific and disallowing hearsay such as “well i know someone who says…” individualism) about the industry feeds directly into the misogyny you want to address and fight.

If you want to dismantle misogyny, you have to get past divisive terms such as “SWERF” that exist to keep criticisms of the industry encapsulated into imaginary anti-woman bubbles. You have to allow an honest conversation about the daily realities of “sex work” that exist beyond the scope of liberal feminism.

Again, I honestly believe you care and that you’re on the right side and I admire that. But I hope that someday you’ll recognize that “sex worker” was literally fabricated by the sex industry, and dignifying “SWERF” dignifies a man’s right to a woman’s body. Which is the very embodiment of misogyny.

Ps – If you want to include all feminists, you have to include all feminists. That includes radical feminism is well. The kind of feminism that actually wants to dismantle misogyny.

I didn’t receive a response. I did, however, get un-friended.

The term SWERF does not actually make sense, and I’m tired of seeing it. It’s divisive , and forces someone to either toe the line and support men’s right’s to fuck women and children for cash, or be anti-woman. There’s no middle ground with people who use it. If I’m a SWERF then you’re a MRA.


SWERF means Sex Worker Exclusionary Radical Feminist. Meaning that the radical feminist movement excludes “sex workers”. Well, I’m absolutely against the terminology (as I’ve stated a few times now), but perhaps Sex Worker as a Term Exclusionary Radical Feminist (SWATERF) would be okay. But as a radical feminist, I am very, very, very much inclusive of prostituted people; the entire framework of my entire feminist ideology is derived almost exclusively from my research of prostitution. Any social activism that excluded or didn’t consider the trafficked women and children of sexually abusive slavery would not for a feminist ideology make.

I believe, absolutely, in helping prostituted people get out of the sex industry through decriminalizing their selling and funding exit strategies through government funding. This is not mutually exclusive to caring about these women and children. Which you don’t, when you support prostitution.

Prostitution is an industry that requires the participation of horny, objectifying, dehumanizing men who want to get their dicks wet with people who are, by a vast majority, being coerced to spread their legs. Need I remind people that sex that is coercive is rape? By definition, you cannot consent to coercion. And you don’t make an industry of codified rape better by legislating it. You don’t throw harm-reduction strategies at that which should simply be abolished. This is common sense.

Nobody in the radical feminist club wants to punish or make criminals the women and children who are being prostituted. People who call me a SWERF, maligning my beliefs as anti-woman, are myopic bordering on MRA. If you support “sex work”, you support a man’s right to access women’s bodies whenever he pleases. That is misogyny. That is men’s right’s activism.

To the folks who think that “privilege” is an attack – it’s not. White privilege, or male privilege, or hetero privilege, or white male hetero privilege, or ______ privilege has to do entirely with “systemic cultural realities”. Checking your privilege has nothing to do with negating your personal hardships in life.

So please, stop railing against the concept altogether. When you do, you marginalize the experiences of all who don’t benefit from the privileges that others do.

I attended EARTH AT RISK 2014 with Amy this month. Earth at Risk is a conference, held by the Fertile Ground Environmental Institute, that promotes and fosters forceful oppositional cultures in order to challenge oppressive systems. Jonah Mix, my fierce online confidant and relentlessly active social justice ally, sold me on attending by promising Gail Dines, author of Pornland and founder of Stop Porn Culture, would be there.

She was. And so, too, was Jonah.

Much taller than I expected, and just as persuasive as any of the speakers at EAR, Jonah, Amy and I headed to dessert after the first day. “My resistance is a healing process,” he said, taking pause to nibble a damp waffle cone, made soft by the ice cream scooped inside it. In the silence, I scraped some chocolate chips from the bottom of my paper cup. He rolled his eyes. “I can’t believe you’re one of those people,” he would have said, if only he hadn’t already mumbled this twice at the register.

The weekend was, in short, one of the most thought-provoking, convincing, moving, validating, invigorating two days in recent memory. A write up of the event lies beyond the scope of a simple article; I’ll be exploring the conversations, panels, and keynotes for years to come. Needless to say, my mind was blown – particularly by the Confronting Misogyny (Gail Dines, Cherry Smiley, Sarah Mah, & Yuly Chan) Race, Militarism, and Masculinity (Kourtney Mitchell, Stan Goff, Doug Zachary, and Vince Emanuele) panels. Keynotes by Derrick Jensen & Vandana Shiva were inspiring, and sitting among powerful minds (Lierre Keith, Chris Hedges, Charles Derber) was humbling. I had the pleasure of speaking briefly with Gail, Derrick, Kourtney, Stan, and Lierre afterwards (all of whom I’m certain I freaked out with my inarticulate cheerleading), and look forward to many more conversations to come.

Watched Tim Wise’s White Like Me, a documentary take on his book of the same name. It’s pretty convincing for people who may not be aware that privilege is a thing (me, circa a year ago). I really could have done without the last five minutes, though, which is basically a list of a lot of good white people. It left a rancid taste in my mouth.

Transition Radio has a pretty extensive interview with lesbian activist Cathy Brennan. Watch it.

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