Talking to friends about their liberal feminism

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Talking to friends about their liberal feminism

Post by marge » 05 Dec 2018 02:29

So, I finally have a dinner date set up to struggle with a woman I work with and am friendly with over her support for "sex work." I've been meaning to talk to her for a while, but it finally came to a head after we got into an argument over porn on her Facebook.

How much luck have you all had convincing women how anti-woman the sex industry is? And what kind of arguments have your liberal friends gotten really stuck on that make it hard to budge them?

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Re: Talking to friends about their liberal feminism

Post by DarthTerf » 05 Dec 2018 03:10

I wouldn't hold my breath if this is strictly about you both going in determined to convince the other rather than genuinely hoping to understand each other's point of view. You can be right till the cows come home, but that's never going to change someone's mind. In case she has actually expressed an interest in being proven wrong:
The statistics about women who want to exit being something like 90% (I think the most conservative estimate is still 40%) is pretty damning, as is the racial distribution of women in prostitution. It's a very racist implication that black and brown women are just more interested in having dangerous amounts of sex with strange men, and their institutional economic disadvantage is really hard to write off as coincidence.

Otherwise, I would not endeavour this. Trying to tell a friend you're right and she's wrong and not letting it go only creates a rift. Maybe instead of trying to convince her you could find common ground on something like what the role of pimps should be (surely they should not be the ones making all the money, rules, etc.) or something like that?

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Re: Talking to friends about their liberal feminism

Post by marge » 05 Dec 2018 03:28

I do want to understand where she's coming from. Especially because of the amount of passion we both have for what we think is best for women in society. I'm just hoping I can sway her some.

This isn't the first time she and I have had to debate something serious politically. We're both in a political organization together and she's interested in my politics to the point where she's asked me for an opinion on several things before, which is why I'm even going to get into this with her. I'm just worried about the emotions for her getting in the way since she used to sell nudes and she's been pretty brainwashed as far as sex goes by the "feminist" circles she's spent a lot of time in.

Do you know where you found numbers on women wanted to exit prostitution, by the way?

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Re: Talking to friends about their liberal feminism

Post by BattleAxeoftheRepublic » 05 Dec 2018 05:39

"How much luck have you all had convincing women how anti-woman the sex industry is?"

The closest I've ever gotten to "convincing" was more of a prolonged pause. I focussed on something like,

'I just don't think men should be able to buy sex. I don't think it's good for women as a whole that half the population can just buy it and expect it. It's bad for women and girls to create that kind of market demand because it drives kidnapping and trafficking. Male animals in nature don't all get to have sex, and those that do only get it occasionally."

"You can argue for someone's "right" to sell themselves all you want but at the end of the day only women with very low self-worth will do so. Why do you think that is? Why are women who heal and learn self-love unable to continue getting raped for a living?"

If she care more for men than for women you might point out that porn and prostitution are not wholesome activities for men either since it kills their libido and damages relationships.

Probably won't do any good but good luck.

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Re: Talking to friends about their liberal feminism

Post by VestalVirgin » 05 Dec 2018 18:03

Focus on men. If you talk about the women in prostitution, you'll get answered with choosey choice arguments. So ask about men:

"Why do you think men go to prostitutes?"

"How do you think a man feels having sex with a woman who he knows wouldn't have sex with him if he didn't pay her?"

"Doesn't having sex with prostitutes make men get used to having sex with women who don't desire them/ don't want to have sex with them/dont enjoy it?"

Ask her if she thinks prostituted women can reject men they find repulsive. Ask what she thinks the rejected men will write about this woman online. Ask whether she thinks other men will still try their luck with a prostitute they know might reject them.

Ask how she thinks men differentiate between women who are for sale and women who aren't for sale. How men who can pay a prostitued woman ten euros for oral sex will understand that buying an other woman dinner for 100 euros still doesn't mean they are entitled to her body.

Ask why she thinks some men think they are entitled to a woman's body after buying her a drink, and whether it has anything to do with prostitution.

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Re: Talking to friends about their liberal feminism

Post by Innocence » 06 Dec 2018 20:39

What about the video series "Bumfights". Remember that vile video series, came out I think in the early 2000s or thereabout. 2 rich boys paid a bunch of homeless men, most addicts, to fight each other on the street. Most people found it disgusting. When questioned about things like that people usually respond one of two ways:

1) That's disgusting, should be illegal, and I'd love to see those to pieces of garbage who made it sent to jail.

2) That's disgusting, but the men were not mentally disabled, too drunk/high to understand the situation and consent, or psychotic, so ultimately banning this kind of production would involve laws that could be used to criminalize free speech that actually has value. Horrible as it is, it should be legal.

What you don't find is a bunch of liberals saying that homeless men being paid to knock each other's teeth out for posh boys' entertainment is perfectly harmless fun, or legitimate work. No one is saying "getting your teeth knocked out is better than no job!" and being taken seriously.

So why is it that when women are involved, the narrative seeps so quickly from a reluctant agreement that the alternative to decriminalization may be worse, to "blow jobs are real jobs!" and "porn is harmless entertainment!" Because it involves women. The usually applied logic flies out the window as soon as we're dealing with a moral situation that disproportionately affects women. The ludicrousness of many of the "choice and agency" sex work arguments are revealed as soon as the same logic applies to health and safety laws that govern all other kinds of work. All labour is coerced for 99% of society, and laws governing what kind of labour can be legally bought must heavily account for that reality. Do liberal feminists believe you can choose not to wear protective equipment in industrial jobs? That you can choose to do dangerous work in any other field? What about sweatshop labour? Is it ok for a boss to offer a raise in exchange for sex? Is it ok in an office job to demand the women wear heels and skirts? If you don't like it you don't have to work there.

I think the strategy should be to get the choosers to agree to some universal moral premises that can be broadly applied to all labour, rather than focusing on prostitution in particular. What kind of restrictions on labour do they agree with? What kinds of safety and dignity are workers allowed to legally expect? Are they in line with their opinions on "sex work"?

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