Sex work, legislation, feminism

Posted: June 29, 2010 in Uncategorized

I currently have a piece up on Liberal Conspiracy about my views on feminists’ campaigns to legislate against the sex industry in the UK. I hope you might take a moment to have a look at it. The sexual fantasy pieces I write here, have a political context to do with how our sexuality is policed in this country. My feminism and my writing challenges that policing, supports people who work in the sex industry, and ends up in almighty arguments with feminists who have a more puritanical view of sex and work than me.  And, I hope than you too!

  1. Kim says:

    Hi Elly,

    I read your piece on Lib Con and find it a really interesting take on things. I also agree with you in terms of what you say about the first campaign promoting one class of women’s rights & needs as more important than another and the fact that it does nothing to help those women who are involved in the sex industry.

    As far as Object go, I struggle with them as a group – on the one hand I think that women should be accepted and viewed as whole persons rather than bodies or vehicles for sexual thrills. On the other, I agree with you that making sex into something that is shameful is the wrong way to go about things and doesn’t stop demand for prostitutes – about all it does do is create a culture where both women and men become repressed about sex and sexuality again which can have some pretty dire emotional & psychological consequences all round.

    Oh and on an unrelated note, I find your writing here to be brilliantly subversive in breaking what are still commonly held taboos about women & sex.

  2. JenniferRuth says:

    I don’t think disagreeing with your stance on sex work is “puritanical” – in fact, I would say in my case it has very little to do with it at all. Being against sex work is not about being against sex. Conflating the 2 is disingenuous.

    I, for one, enjoy you little notebook stories but I still tend to agree with the observations and analysis of groups like Object. Not everything, but more than half anyway!

    Y’see, this is why I have always hated the term “sex-positive” because it implies that anyone who isn’t is sex-negative.

    Believe me, I am 100% sex positive and I could tell a fair few stories for your notebook! But I still feel that the sex and pornography industries portray negative, powerless images of women that only serve to limit male and female sexuality.

  3. Hi Jennifer,
    I am glad you feel able to enjoy some of what I write and not feel you have to subscribe to all my views!

    I don’t like the term ‘sex-positive’ either. when I say ‘puritanical’ it is to do with the kind of language some feminists use in the way they talk about sex and sexuality. especially that which they find distasteful.

  4. P.s. if you want me to send you the notebook I will consider doing so. It is going on a little trip to france first but send me an email if you are interested!

  5. JenniferRuth says:

    I enjoy most of what you write! I think it’s okay to disagree and I’m interested in all aspects and opinions in feminism.

    It’s like we discussed on an older post. Sometimes it’s like the only time separate feminist camps talk is when they’re arguing over a specific topic. What about all the stuff they agree on? What about forging new bonds and discussing different perspectives?

    Thanks for explaining what you meant by puritanical – I guess when I hear it the images that come to mind are buttoned-up gentlemen who faint at piano ankles 🙂

  6. The buttoned up gentleman who faint at piano ankles conjur up all sorts of wrong images in my head! 🙂

  7. Kim, hi. Sorry I didn’t reply to you directly before.
    Thanks you make some good points about OBJECT. I agree, aspects of how feminine sexuality and women’s bodies are presented in our culture are horrendous. But they seem to have such a blanket view of how to talk about gender, bodies and sex that they just don’t help us to understand what is going on.

    Thanks for your comments on my writing too. I do think what I do is quite unusual as I cover gender politics and erotica. I know for sure it does the heads in of some of the obJect types of feminists. As my last post on ‘ghetto women’ showed. I get some really nasty comments about my work so your support is even more appreciated!

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