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Monday, April 28, 2014

Name-calling, and other "radfem" faves!

TW: verbal abuse, whore-phobia, name-calling

Admittedly, I occasionally call anti-sexwork advocates names in my posts and my writing. I use words such as idiot (ableist, I've come to learn), asshole, jerk, stupid (also ableist), radscum (when dealing with so-called "radical feminists"), and probably other names that I can't think of at the moment. Full disclosure. I resort to childish, shitty behaviour sometimes too.

When I do this, it's generally in the middle of a rage stroke, while trying to have a "dialogue" with them, or while hearing some misinformation being propagated by folks who claim to be feminists, while simultaneously calling for the criminalization of sex work or clients (which is absolutely bad for women in the sex industry, and for victims of rape trafficking). It's usually because my attempts at being reasonable, fair, calm, and logical have failed, and the other person simply regurgitates the same old tired stereotypes of me, my friends/colleagues, and my work. I sometimes do this because I am angry and frustrated with OTHER WOMEN actively working to further stigmatize and oppress me and people like me, while at the same time calling me a liar, and presuming to understand my experience better than I do. We have enough to deal with under patriarchy from MEN, so women gleefully participating in it tends to piss me off.

On the other side, however, we have so-called "feminists" supposedly fighting for the rights of industry "survivors" (i.e. women, never men, who have exited the sex industry and who have faced abuse while engaged in it - folks who absolutely deserve justice and to be heard). They often say "why don't survivors voices matter?" or "why are you trying to silence survivors?" in response to sex workers calling for decriminalization of the trade, while silencing us, current workers, in the same breath. Instead of focusing their energy on the folks who are actually perpetrating said violence, and joining in calling for full decriminalization (which would make exiting more feasible, and accessing police help, hiring security, and working in groups - to increase safety, lower stigma, and make sex workers less vulnerable to predators - actually possible), they waste time derailing conversations and debates, and adding their loud - and often abusive - voices to the chorus of men and religious extremists who want to keep controlling women's bodies. And I focus on women not because we're the only ones in the industry, but because we're the only ones being targeted by this sector of society.

And sometimes - often, in fact - while claiming to be fighting for "women's rights", they resort to blatant abuse, stalking, sexism, whore-phobia, harassment, and name-calling, for no reason other than someone does sex work. In the past 48 hours alone, I've been called:

Bitch
Clueless Product Of Patriarchy
Cunt (A term I personally try to only use positively, but which, sadly, still has a seriously negative connotation in popular society)
Harpy (Ironic, given that a lot of these groups are aligned ideologically with the ultra right-wing conservative Harper Government)
Hoe (A term of endearment that some of my sex work friends often use with each other, but not appropriate for anyone not in the industry, or for anyone trying to abolish the industry/criminalize our clients)
Stupid
Stupid Bitch


Some other lovely names I've been called in the past, not in response to anything I said, but simply for advocating for the rights of workers, and asking for folks to not conflate trafficking and exited workers with workers still in the industry (y'know, those of us who still need to protect ourselves and earn a living?). Note: these are name I've been called by OTHER WOMEN who claim to be feminist or women's advocates. I would need an entire book to document the abuse from everyone else. In alphabetical order:
Cum Bucket
Disease-spreading Whore
Liar
Misogynist
Patriarchy Mouthpiece
Sexually Traumatized
Sperm Jar
Useless 
Waste Of Space


And I'm a (mostly) well-spoken cis-gendered white woman with quite a lot of privilege, so I cringe to think of the kind of abuse Trans women, or sex workers Of Colour face from this lot.

I didn't screen-grab everything, but here is a fairly typical sample from the past couple of days.


It's not all bad. Being a target for their abuse only ever increases my followers on twitter. It shows how weak their "argument" is, and how little respect they have for other women who've done nothing to harm them. 

Keep it up, "rad fems"! There is nothing radical or feminist about your tactics, and your ignorance is showing.

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