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Australian philosopher, literary critic, legal scholar, and professional writer. Based in Newcastle, NSW. My latest books are THE TYRANNY OF OPINION: CONFORMITY AND THE FUTURE OF LIBERALISM (2019); AT THE DAWN OF A GREAT TRANSITION: THE QUESTION OF RADICAL ENHANCEMENT (2021); and HOW WE BECAME POST-LIBERAL: THE RISE AND FALL OF TOLERATION (2024).

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

A couple of posts about sex slavery and prostitution...

... for you to mull over, while I'm on a blog break for a day or two.

One from Taslima Nasreen, commencing her association with freethoughtblogs.

And a reply by Greta Christina, who insists that prostitution can't necessarily be equated with sex slavery.


Jessika said...

If I choose to make porn (which I am choosing to do, incidentally), or if I choose to be an escort (which I did, once upon a time), I am not ‘selling myself’. I am not for sale. My body, my mind, my personality… these things are not for sale. What is for sale, is the option to look at my body, or interact with it. If I fuck somebody, or somebody takes a naked picture of me, I’m not losing any part of myself. No part of me has been taken in exchange for cash, just an image. If you take a photo in an art gallery, nobody’s going to accuse you of stealing the art work. If you touch a statue, and walk away from it, you’re not taking part of it with you. It’s the same for my body. If you see it, or touch it, no part of me is lost, no part of what makes me who I am is changed.

And then we come to the assumption that I’m ‘degrading’ myself in some manner by banging people for cash. Well, I’m not. I felt more degraded working minimum wage in McDonalds than I ever do when I’m taking naked photos to put online, or when I fuck random people for free (yeah, I’m a big ol’ slut, your point?) or when I’m signing up to do a screen test with a porn company. No branch of sex work or or sex as a hobby seems to be capable of making me feel degraded. And if I don’t feel degraded, then you don’t get to tell me I feel degraded, because you are not in possession of a greater understanding of my emotions than I am.

Your judgments on sex workers are contributing to the lack of safety evident in the mainstream porn industry, they are contributing to a continued ban on prostitution, making the lives of sex workers really fucking unsafe in many circumstances. By judging sex workers, you are contributing to a system that means if a sex worker is raped, nobody cares. If a prostitute is murdered, it takes about 5 more killed before the police bother to investigate. Whether you judge sex workers as bad people or as objects of pity, you’re harming us.

Do not tell me what I am allowed to use my body for and how I am supposed to feel when I go outside of that.

Svlad Cjelli said...

Of course it can't be equated.
Way to fucking trivialise slavery.

Oh, oh, sex is so icky and bad!
Coercion? Oh, that's just a trivial detail. We don't have to pay attention to that.

"Truth9. Prostitution is the destination point for trafficking."

Yes, and that's the bad part about trafficking, don't you see? Kidnapping isn't even on the radar.
We mustn't let them reach the Destination Point, because they're all icky and stuff!

Sorry. But not very sorry.

Russell Blackford said...

Who are you addressing, Jessika? I take it you are actually addressing Taslima Nasreen, since it seems to be her views that you are objecting to? I doubt, however, that she is reading this blog.

I don't see anything in Greta Christina's post that you could be objecting to, or in mine, which simply provided links to their debate. So, you're kind of using a literary device of writing as if talking to Taslima? Or did you assume she would be the one I would agree with?

For what it's worth, I actually agree with Greta Christina on this issue, not with Taslima Nasreen. But I was leaving my readers to discuss the debate among themselves, while I'm away from home for a few days and don't have my usual almost non-stop internet access.