Prostitution: less like a job, more like the prison system

writing by renee

At bottom, there is one fundamental question: Why do we take prison for granted? While a relatively small proportion of the population has ever directly experienced life inside prison, this is not true in poor black and Latino communities. Neither is it true for Native Americans or for certain Asian-American communities. But even among those people who must regrettably accept prison sentences—especially young people—as an ordinary dimension of community life, it is hardly acceptable to engage in serious public discussions about prison life or radical alternatives to prison. It is as if prison were an inevitable fact of life, like birth and death.

– Angela Davis, Are Prisons Obsolete?

There are many similarities between the prison system and prostitution. The correlations with child abuse, broken families, poverty and homelessness – racism and colonisation. The dark room, sparsely furnished – a bed, and the ever-present sense of being watched; the constant…

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Nietzsche part 1: politics

freer lives

This is the third in a series of posts on postmodernism.

Nietzsche provides many of the ideas that are now identified with postmodernism. “I am simply a Nitzschean,” Foucault said. Derrida “not only fosters Nietzsche’s work but evolves it within the sphere of language”. Deleuze evangelised about him to Paris intellectuals in the early 1960s, via his book Nietzsche and Philosophy, while Irigaray “undertakes to interrogate Nietzsche, the grandfather of poststructuralist philosophy, from the point of view of water”.

Nietzsche’s key works cover wide areas of culture and philosophy. His lasting influence derives partly from his scholarship and exciting style; partly from his ability to discern from afar the period of wars and revolutions to come, and the issues they have continued to pose for modern society; and partly from the very general, symbolic way in which he himself posed those issues: this vagueness allows his writings to…

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Intersections: Climate Change, Environmental Degradation, and the Proliferation of Prostitution


Prostitution was a huge breaking factor between myself and liberal feminism. As I have written several times on my site, it is quite frustrating that liberal feminist sites are so blindly “pro sex-work,” and not just because it means supporting an institution that is inherently violent and exploitative towards women. By flinging accusations of “whorephobia” at anyone who believes prostitutes are exploited and that prostitution should be abolished, liberal feminists have effectively shut down important intersectional conversations regarding climate change, environmental degradation, and the proliferation of prostitution – all as a result of intense globalization.

In “An Analysis of Global Sex Trafficking,” Cheryl O’Brien states that “Connected to neo-liberal policies, globalization has displaced people in favor of cash crop agriculture, increasing the landless and leading to increased labor migration and urbanization, which separates families. Globalization contributed to urbanization, causing people to leave rural homes in search of work in factories…

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If Prostitution is Legalized…A Personal and Political View


Everyday at lunch when it is nice out, I walk across the street to a little café and buy a bag of chips as a snack. And invariably I end up getting catcalled.

For me, the gauntlet of sexual harassment began early, as I developed beginning around 12, and until about 18 I looked much older than my years (one could say I eventually caught up). This gauntlet consisted of whistles, hoots, lewd comments, stalking as I walked home, groping, threatening comments if I didn’t respond – and many times there was some sort of combination. Many readers will understand what it is like to suddenly become public property. It was especially disconcerting for me as I never “identified” with being traditionally feminine and was, for a while, a straight up tomboy, with the athleticism to match the attitude. Then I developed breasts and an ass, and everything I understood…

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1, 6, and 1000 years later

the Book of Her Life

Recovery takes forever in a world ruled by cycles of male violence. Especially when counselors encourage you to think of your sexual violation in cyclical terms such as “anniversary”. Fuck that, there is no such thing.

Though the social world is dominated by men, the physical and natural world follow no such rule. The rythms of the earth exist outside of man-made systems of time, and man-made problems. If you were ever to seek comfort in the neutrality and meaninglessness of something, or the grace and dignity of a higher power, look no farther than the universe itself, which runs according to its own time. Don’t celebrate or mourn “anniversaries”: by man-ufacturing cycles, that creates the illusion of no escape, as suddenly a memory is imbued with the forces of nature, ensuring that you will not escape. This is a deception, as memory is subject to the forces of nature…

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The way I now analyze oppression

What I avoided in my previous post called “Intersectional Freedom” is the origin of oppression and the role of history in determining the problem, and its solution. Well, prepare for a paradigm shift.

Because I am an anarchist and because I am working class, sometimes I don’t know who I hate more: men, fascists, or the ruling class.

To be honest, there is no difference between the three. Whether men dominate sexually, or through racism, or economic exploitation, it is still patriarchy.

There are a few different ways to think about oppression:

  • That all wimmin are equally oppressed regardless of other characteristics (this doesn’t pass evidence)
  • What is basically “kyriarchy” theory (cringe) in which all people are equally oppressed and these aren’t examined too closely for fear of making people, probably men, feel bad (wait, how is this a hierarchical system again? This sounds like we are all equally oppressing each other)
  • Economic class analysis in which Marxist class analysis is the backbone of the class system, where there the system is a “patiarchal, racist capitalism” instead of “capitalist, racist patriarchy” and all racism and sexism are merely ways of preventing the working class from uniting to fight capitalism. So, white men being at the top of that pyramid is merely incidental to the system — it could be anyone and anything in the service of capital, it just “happens” to be men.
    • This is more nuanced and is usually what all socialists, anarchists, and self-described “anarchafeminists” seem to believe, since they can get away with being inclusive of wimmin and people of color without making any fundamental changes. I guess it’s not a terrible analysis but it does completely ignore radical feminism, female separatism, and never answers the ultimate question: why there is capitalism in the first place, and whether patriarchy will really be ended when capitalism ends. So…I guess it is a terrible analysis.
    • The major conflicts that we run into with this is that it leads to conclusions that essentially blame patriarchy on capitalism. It’s not exactly class reductionism, because we are still allowed to say that patriarchy is also separate from capitalism and we don’t have to wait until “after the revolution”. But when it comes to practically dealing with patriarchy, capitalism, and racism, ignoring their relationship can lead to confusion and cognitive dissonance for a young feminist unsure of the best way to make change. And the very fucked up assertion that “poverty causes male violence” goes unchallenged, when there is evidence that male violence is ubiquitous and that wimmin living in the same conditions don’t fall to the same depravity.
  • What I am now leaning towards, based on reading about the witch hunts, is that patriarchy invented capitalism and racism as a way to divide wimmin and advance men’s competition for world domination.

Wimmin are the revolutionary class.

Patriarchy has created a complex class system wherein people are all divided into classes and races. Radical feminists have studied and learned that patriarchy preceded and invented both capitalism and racism in order to further entrench man’s hierarchy.

Wimmin’s class status and exploitation is determined and experienced differently from the way than men’s is; our class status is slightly mutated by us being wimmin. So a bourgeois womon is always in a suboordinate position to the bourgeois man, but can sometimes utilize her economic power over the working class man (which is likely the source of MRAs feeling oppressed and then blaming it on feminism, because they are not class conscious misogynists) while the working class man can fight back with his sexual status. Race would function similarly.

Some anarchafeminists and Marxist feminists these days will object to this and state that this is a highly eurocentric view, pointing at regions in the global south where wimmin have retained institutional or tribal power. While it is true that institutionalized patriarchy as we know it today owes a lot to white, Judeo-Christian and pagan “Western civilization”, we cannot ignore the Chinese, African, and Middle-Eastern patriarchies. Fine, let’s say we do ignore them — even if we do that, we are ignoring the reality of male violence against females (and our children) as a universal occurrence even across species.

The social structures wimmin build can only serve to mitigate harm. It can be speculated to what extent the harm reduction is successful, but as radical feminists we should recognize that even with the correct socialization, men will always be determined to fuck. As wimmin we don’t go through our lives trying to stop ourselves from raping, whereas men do.

Man’s perverse need to fuck at all costs explains why hierarchies have been pursued in the first place. It is not just that they need our sexual and emotional “labor”, although it is true that wimmin are expected to satisfy man’s every whim and we should seek to disappoint him at every possible moment. Male perversion created men’s imaginations, making them sexual conquistadores. This answers the question of why hierarchies exist everywhere, as a “solution” to social problems. Men tend to organize into more rigid hierarchies than wimmin do, and men tend to lead more cults, and of all the cults, men’s are more destructive. Men create cults as an extension of their perversity. Wimmin create cults as an extension of men’s perversity — often they are modeled after religious patriarchy, so that even man reigns over them as the incorporeal Holy Ghost. At the root of all this is that men are passionate abusers, because they are passionate about fucking, and will abuse to get there.

Could it be that men are wired for sex addiction, or are they actually necrophilic as Daly suggests? I have seen addicts of other sorts behave in the lowliest of ways in service to another “hit”.

You can call me a biological essentialist all you want. Whatever. I’m largely a social constructionist except for this one thing for which there are clearly mountains of evidence. Sometimes you have to go with Occam’s razor and accept the least complicated explanation: that males are fucked up, and no, that males are fucked up doesn’t excuse their behavior. Human males are otherwise intelligent creatures with the capacity to think and create nice things, but they are also raging perverts. And no, it is not their mother’s fault.

I have known enough of them to know why they are the way they are. One of them told me something to the effect of, “I went on these meds just to kill my sex drive, because it was making me lose my mind.” This is a normal male wanting to kill his perverted sex drive, probably one of the best things he could do for himself and all wimmin. It makes me wonder if chemical castration is the humane thing here — if they can’t become radical faeries, and turn their urge to fuck upon each other. You can go and tell me that they make all this up, but I will never be a man and I think I would be concerned if someone told me he “thinks about sex every seven seconds”. I know of another man who drove himself into religious nuttery in an effort to escape his own darkness, and was the type of man to say those things as though his existence in this way tortured him. If you manage to get into the non-sexualized confidences of men, you start to learn how they think and feel differently from you as a womon, such as how they are like carnivores trying not to eat the herbivores next to them. Living with men means living as Pi Patel on the boat with Richard Parker. In my view, male socialization only exacerbates it.

While wimmin can and do form hierarchies, these are often in service to men either on an unconscious or conscious level, or it is simply mimickry of what wimmin have learned by living in this society. It is not that hard to undo this socialization — in fact, anarchafeminists say wimmin have been the first anarchists (even if they didn’t call themselves this) and the longest resisters of domination because we simply have more practical reasons to do so. Men “coin” things, name things, conquest things, are obsessed with growth, and otherwise compete for the chance to leave their mark on the world. We simply never received credit for our inventions, but such energy-wasting on competition for recognition is something that womon culture originally never really felt the need to pursue. Wimmin live for our own sake.

So, to recap:

  1. Men are sexually depraved.
  2. Men pursue hierarchical modes of organization over wimmin in order to get their “fix”.
  3. Men work together to produce more complex hierarchies (patriarchy) over wimmin until a state forms to protect their private property.
  4. The state patriarchy gives men the power to regulate sexual practice, including to punish lesbianism and homosexuality.
  5. Men also compete with other men and introduce racism as a way of drawing lines of “ownership” of “their” wimmin.
  6. Men produce capitalism as a matter of course in securing super-power above all men and wimmin.
  7. Men close the loop by allowing token wimmin to participate in capitalism and the state to hide the truth in order to keep it going.

Privacy and the male gaze, pt. 2: The Internet

What I am talking about when I talk about the male gaze is not only the way an individual man looks at a womon, but at the level of patriarchal society, surveillance is the male gaze, and in addition to being a violation in of itself it is the precursor to more brutal physical violations. And these physical violations are then gazed upon and reproduced for man’s necrophilic consumption. It is a complete cycle of violence and violation.

As wimmin have noted many times, the energy of a room filled with wimmin changes instantly when a man walks in, no matter how nice or inoffensive he is. It is simply by laying his eyes and ears upon us that we can no longer live in our own world: we live in his.

The Internet, being that it is completely and thoroughly compromised by a capitalism that sells ourselves back to ourselves, other corporations, and the government, and its innovations pushed along by patriarchs in the pornography industry, is no safe place for feminists. Every time we speak through the Internet, we subject ourselves to the male gaze. It may be a mechanized and codified gaze, sure, but the logs are stored in someone else’s server and often intercepted by Utah and Fort Mead. Feminists in anglophone countries have blithely ignored our environment because the capitalists told us to do so, and partly because the capitalists created such a social pull that we felt we had almost no choice but to follow our “social networks” into a room with no walls. We told ourselves, like everyone else did, that we had “Nothing to Hide” and conveniently forgot that we were all being tricked into quoting Goebbels, to say nothing of the perverse pleasure nazis would take if they had the Internet in their hands. And so we have underestimated the fuckery that can come from using social media.

But even if wise and perceptive minds were to warn us, we would brush it aside, as is very common. For people have been warning everyone since the Internet’s inception, but have only made marginal progress. I believe this is because we have all been violated and wish not to know this fact. We all feel the discomfort, but choose to ignore it, and some of us simply suffer “chilling effects”. We would rather buy in to the capitalists’ line that it is a “new way” of existing, posturing it as a kind of radical honesty by calling it “open sourcing” humanity, and overlooking the creepy boundary-violations of that Fuckerberg who was best known for making the call for “a more open Internet”, one in which you used your full, legal name with complete strangers, “just like in real life”. Yet in real life, if there still is one anymore, people did not ask for legal names and most of us were fine with nicknames. Only in government and capitalist enterprises were we all required to use our legal names, and the legal name is a recent invention for the purpose of tracking paternity and material wealth. When not controlled by a government, people use whatever names they wish. Now that the Wild West days of the Internet are over, I would say that we are experiencing an inversion of reality, where the capitalist-imposed norms of Internet social media culture have slowly crept into real life, and subverted cultural norms of privacy and dignity. Where the Gaze goes, the policing and brutality is not far behind.

Wimmin have learned that when we speak out on these platforms, we get threatened, and doxxed. What we don’t yet know, and perhaps will learn just as activists in the global south have, is that although connection with each other is incredibly vital, we communicate under the mechanized gaze of capitalist patriarchy. This is possible because we are on capitalist patriarchy’s platforms, and thus have no inner life. There are measures we can take to mitigate males from lunging at us through their screens, but what we really need is to reject the mechanized male gaze altogether, and use our own technologies to recover our inner lives and female separatist spaces which are the heart of the wimmin’s movement. The Internet, as a whole, is broken and must be rebuilt from the ground up. This poses the opportunity to pioneer new, distributed networks based on horizontal and diffuse control of resources and prevent our sites and our selves from being attacked and intruded upon ever again. Even if such a new networking system was created, this may still involve using the technology less and less as a primary site of connection which replaces our community relationships, and more as an appliance to reinforce our knowledge and connectivity over long distances.