St. Steinem Takes On India

It’s funny to me how some people can seem to support sex worker rights as long as certain feminists and their contributions to the oppression of sex workers are not criticized. You can clearly see this in my comment exchanges with BrianX & Daniel Schealler under my youtube name Divinity33372. These two men seem very open to a more balanced view of sex work then displayed by Taslima Nasreen until someone had the irreverence to criticize St. Gloria Steinem.

Well, I’ll have them and any other so called “supporter of feminism” know that as a free thinking feminist I find NO ONE beyond criticism and Ms. Steinem has a lot to answer for concerning sex worker rights nowadays.

She recently went to India with the son of billionaire Warren Buffett to tell India how to solve it’s problems…OH GOODIE! But wait, isn’t Warren Buffett one of the “good guys?” Isn’t he Mr. Please Raise Taxes On Me & The Rich? You’ll forgive me if that’s not enough to convince me of his sincerity. He’s also Mr. Send The Defective Fema Trailers Made By A Company I Own To Earthquake Devastated Haitian Children.

So how do St. Steinem plan on fixing India’s sex trade problems? Well, for one she proposes to make it a tourist destination. They are going to cater to uber privileged Westerners by taking them on tours of the areas in India where most of the sex business does business like British on Safari in Africa. But don’t feed the animals because whether they say so or not ALL these sex worker’s experiences are all the same and they’re ALL bad. In fact, let’s just call them all “trafficked.” Why not? It’s the latest thing donchyaknow.

Second, they’re going to work to take reproductive services away from sex workers.

“There’s something lopsided about the AIDS lobby around the world that tries to protect male buyers from disease rather than protecting the women from them. We need to bring attention to this, that this kind of funding has to stop and investing in funds that give these women more choices other than prostitution has to start,” explained Ruchira.

Ok, all sarcasm aside, I can’t begin to tell you how infuriated I am by this rich, white, western woman who fought for western women’s reproductive rights in the 60’s going to India NOW and supporting people and organizations that would take those very same services away from the most oppressed among women…SEX WORKERS! How sanctimoniously “do as I say and not as I do” can a privileged woman be ffs?!? Gloria Steinem is a HYPOCRITE and just another cog in the wheel of oppression that runs over the marginalized every fucking day! She is also proof that just cause a feminist says it that don’t make it good for women. I mean what will she and Mr. Buffett do next~chain these “rescued” women to sewing machines inside a donated toxic formaldehyde trailer and call it helping?

Speaking of sewing machines; how much you wanna bet herding women into low paying “jobs” with sweat shop like conditions will be the final phase in this super original plan? This is a great idea considering U.S. companies NEVER go to third world (or close to it) countries to exploit the labor there because they can’t get away with that shit in the U.S.

Here’s my suggestion to St. Steinem: use the privilege you’ve got oozing out of every pour on your body and get a bill introduced in Congress that would require U.S. corporations that open factories over seas to pay those employees no less then the U.S. minimum wage. Go ahead! I’ll hold my breath.

Taslima Nasreen, are you a skeptic or not?

Taslima Nasree continues her crusade to turn the freethoughtblogs into an anti-porn propaganda rag with her latest installment on the sex industry “Let’s Eroticize Equality.” This piece is complete with all the usual assertions about pornography and it’s alleged “effects” on society with none of the empty calories that come from PROOF! 

She misleadingly opens her piece with the line,

I am against  pornography because it  has  many  harmful effects,  encouragement of  sex trafficking, desensitization, pedophilia, dehumanization, sexual exploitation, sexual dysfunction,  inability to maintain healthy sexual relationships.

I say misleading because you would think after a statement like this she would proceed to prove her assertions with solid evidence. The freethoughtblogs is supposed to be a blogging site for freethinkers and SKEPTICS…isn’t it? Maybe Ms. Nasree is simply confused. Allow me to point out the definition of the word “skeptic” for her:

Skeptic

1.a person who questions the validity or authenticity of something purporting to be factual.
2.a person who maintains a doubting attitude, as toward values, plans, statements, or the character of others.
3.a person who doubts the truth of a religion, especially Christianity, or of important elements of it.
She continues,
Pornography is exclusively for men’s pleasure. Women  are used as sex objects. I know some women will  say, ‘we love to be sex objects’. Millions of misogynists are out there to  support the idea of the objectification of women.  I do not have to support this.

I am living proof of the flaw in her claim that, “Pornography is exclusively for men’s pleasure.” I am a woman and I enjoy some porn.

Notice how she poisons the well against any woman in porn who may disagree with her in statement, “I know some women will  say, ‘we love to be sex objects’.” REALLY Tas? (I would say Ms. Nasreen but with her blatant disrespect of the women in the sex industry she is making it clear that she neither gives respect to nor expects respect from the sex workers she claims she wants to help.) My guess is that women in the sex industry would have a number of issues with your assertions but to you all it comes down to is that they “love to be sex objects” right?  No sex worker could possibly be SKEPTICAL of your claims. NOOOOOOO….! Skepticism is for smart people ISN’T , right TAZ?

Millions of misogynists are out there to  support the idea of the objectification of women.” Oh, I get it.  ANY woman who disagrees with your assertion that porn is exclusively for men simply HATES women. As if this isn’t the most tired and over used tactic employed by “antis” such as you. You make and unsupported blanket statement and anyone who doesn’t agree with you is a “misogynist.” People like you use this bullshit tactic so much that the word “misogynist” seems to lose it’s meaning as if that is helpful to women.

And how does she wrap this up into a nice neat bow? “I do not have to support this.” You hear that out there in skeptic land? Taz is better then you and she does not HAVE TO support her claims. Who do any of you think you are to actually expect her to support what she is claiming. You just shut up and nod your head when Mz. Taz tell u what to think, k.

She continues to go on to argue some false dichotomy between pornography and erotica as if there is no grey area in between. All in all, it’s simply her saying “this is what I don’t find offensive and acceptable and if you don’t agree with me you like being an object or you just hate women blah blah blah…”

She also throws around statements like, “Gloria Steinem says…” as if just because St. Steinem says it it must be true. And, “researchers say” without linking to the research. She does link to some opinion pieces complete with the anecdotal evidence that may fool a non-skeptic but by this point she’s just not even trying.

I don’t know if she’s trying to be cute at the end of her piece where she links to…well Anthony’s comment said it best so I’ll let is speak for it’s self:

Of course she fails to even mention the porn sites that cater to the more romantic (yet equally explicit 🙂 ) like  New Sensations Romance or The Porn for Women.  She closes it out with “Leave it. Let’s listen to  a song “ where she links to some kumbaya song undoubtedly to make appeals to the emotions of the masses complete.

So here we go again. Some anti takes a perfectly sound site and turns it into a well poisoning, sex worker rights advocate silencing, smear forum insulting and silencing the very women they claim they want to help. Ah the privilegey goodness. Eat it up now Taz because you’re on a site with the likes of Gretta Christina, Natalie Reed, Richard Carrier and others who take their skepticism seriously. I hope your place on the site is questioned and reevaluated.

Oh but IS prostitution “sex slavery”?

Lately on the Freethoughtblogs there has been in engaging back and forth between Taslima Nasreen and some of the other blogger.  Nasreen made the typical blanket statement assertions and conflations between sex trafficking and prostitution in her post Sex Slavery must be abolished.

Some examples:

Lie2. Prostitution is sexual freedom. /Prostitution is sex.

Truth2. Prostitution is sexual exploitation./ Prostitution is not sex, it is sexual violence.

Lie5. Women choose to enter prostitution.

Truth5. Prostitution is not an acceptable job for women. They are forced to enter prostitution. Prostitution is an abusive institution and women stay poor in prostitution.  It  is not a vocation choice, it is human rights abuse.

Lie9. Legalization of prostitution is an entirely separate issue from human trafficking.

Truth9. Prostitution is the destination point for trafficking etc…

Thankfully, Gretta Christina responded to this propaganda piece with a substantive counter post called Prostitution Is Not Sex Slavery. I wish I could say, “and that was that” but IS prostitution “sex slavery”? Let’s look at the U.S. CODE to find out.

Trafficking in persons definitions:

(8) Severe forms of trafficking in persons

The term “severe forms of trafficking in persons” means-

(A) sex trafficking in which a commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud, or coercion, or in which the person induced to perform such act has not attained 18 years of age; or

(B) the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for labor or services, through the use of force, fraud, or coercion for the purpose of subjection to involuntary servitude, peonage, debt bondage, or slavery.

(9) Sex trafficking
The term “sex trafficking” means the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for the purpose of a commercial sex act.
As you can see, the form of trafficking in persons that involves force, fraud, coercion or anything involving a minor is officially defined as “SEVERE sex trafficking”. “Sex trafficking” as defined by the OFFICIAL definitions in the U.S. CODE does not involved any force, fraud or coercion AT ALL!

This OFFICIAL definition for “sex trafficking” may seem like a small issue to some. Many may say “oh, but we know what it actually means.” I can not stress this enough to those of you out there wanting to be knowledgeable about this issue.

This official conflation between forced and not forced IS the issue!

This IS their victory! It’s one thing for such conflations to happen in the media and in propaganda but it is quite another for them to become law. This seems to validate the conflations and blanket statements prohibitionists like Nasreen make in many people’s eyes. Unfortunately, many Americans tend not to decide what is right by what is true but rather by what the law says. I explain how this official conflations came to be in the video below.

Sources for this vid:

Wellstone Bill

Congressional Record

Copy of letter from some feminists to Senator Wellstone asking him to disregard the consent of women.

TESTIMONY BY STEVEN R. GALSTER, GLOBAL SURVIVAL NETWORK, BEFORE THE HOUSECOMMITTEE ON ENERGY AND NATURAL RESOURCES, SEPTEMBER 16, 1999, CONCERNING THE U.S. COMMONWEALTH OF THE NORTHERN MARIANA ISLANDS

Tom Delay & the Northern Marianas

THIS! This is what must ultimately be undone and it is reaffirmed every time the TVPA is readopted every year.  And the voices of sex workers were clearly ignored and replaced by those of politicians on the religious right. It was an alliance of convenience between anti-sex worker feminists and the RR that got sex workers thrown under the bus in many ways but one sticks out like a sore thumb. The TVPA does not provide any abortion services for these so called “rescued trafficking victims.”  Surely some of these women and girls are pregnant when they are “rescued” right? What happens to them? What happens to their fetuses, to their children? I can’t say for sure but I do know this; many of the NGOs going to third world countries to “rescue” sex trafficking victims and sex workers alike (whether the sex worker likes it or not) are faith based organizations. There is more then a small amount of pressure on these women and girls to convert to Christianity as proven by the video below. I think it’s more then a little obscene that Linda Smith saw fit to go to India and put these girls to work in a leather factory being that cows are sacred to many Hindus.

This video was put together from clips from this 4 part series. The first in the series can be found here.

I know;

~NGOs bent on converting “rescued” sex trafficking victims and consensual sex workers alike from not only the sins of others but their own as well.

~Feminists in bed with the religious rights in an alliance of convenience that undermines the reproductive rights of said rescued victims.

~The hyper-focusing on the sexual aspect of human trafficking in order to distract from the systematic undermining of the rights of labor in this country and in others.

It’s a lot to take in but I will leave you with this quote from Nasreen’s follow up piece. It’s the quote she opened her piece with:

‘We say that slavery has vanished from European civilization, but this is not true. Slavery still exists, but now it applies only to women and its name is prostitution.’

—VICTOR HUGO, Les Misérables

Well if that isn’t a denial of the existence of Labor trafficking right there I don’t know what is.  I confronted her about it in a comment I left to her but it was never approved. I documented my comment and you can see it for yourself in the video below:

My comment:

NOTE: I noticed that you removed a perfectly reasonable and respectful comment from someone that did not totally agree with you so let me say now that I am screencaping my comment and putting it on my youtube channel.

NOTE 2: Anyone reading these posts should be aware of the actual definitions of trafficking in persons as stated in the U.S. CODE

(8) Severe forms of trafficking in persons
The term “severe forms of trafficking in persons” means—
(A) sex trafficking in which a commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud, or coercion, or in which the person induced to perform such act has not attained 18 years of age; or
(B) the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for labor or services, through the use of force, fraud, or coercion for the purpose of subjection to involuntary servitude, peonage, debt bondage, or slavery.

(9) Sex trafficking
The term “sex trafficking” means the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for the purpose of a commercial sex act.

(Notice the official conflation between force and freedom. This is something feminists who oppose prostitution in all cases forced or not are responsible for along with the religious right they teamed up with when this legislation was being written.)
Sources:
U.S. CODE http://bit.ly/A5flBG
See the low bar of this video
http://bit.ly/HAlLNn

Oh boy have I got a TON to say about this post. Where do I start?

1. Your first quote: “‘We say that slavery has vanished from European civilization, but this is not true. Slavery still exists, but now it applies only to women and its name is prostitution.’—VICTOR HUGO, Les Misérables”

~way to completely deny the existence of LABOR trafficking. This is one of the biggest problems sex worker’s rights advocates have with the “all prostitution is ‘sex trafficking'” crowd. The over emphasis on the sexual aspect of trafficking to the detriment of those whose labor is being exploited.~

2. “I was wondering how many people who claim that women choose to be prostitutes encourage their beloved daughters to be prostitutes. Even prostitutes do not want their daughters become prostitutes.”

~What a mother would do… = appeal to emotion.~

3. “They are desperate to send their daughters to schools, so that daughters can get an education and a decent job.”

~This is a blanket assumption that all sex workers are uneducated. Plus “decent” = subjective.

4. “I just want to know whether women and girls would choose this ”job”. Please read the ad.”

~And your “ad” is some made up BS by an anti-sex work propaganda rag?!?!? For REALZ?! OMG, how can anyone take this mess seriously?

I would like to thank Gretta Christina, Natalie Reed and Crommunist at Freethoughtblogs for holding people accountable for what is being said about sex work on the site. I hope someone reads this and makes the things I have said here part of the conversation. Honestly, just seeing the lies confronted by those with voices much stronger then mine is such a relief. Please keep up the great work!