Sex workers throughout the world share a uniquely maligned mystique that simultaneously positions them as sexually desirable and socially stigmatized. In order to better understand how these processes function cross-culturally, ‘Demystifying Sex Work and Sex Workers’ combines thirteen articles by scholar-activists and sex workers in Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, India, Mexico, Thailand, Uganda and the U.S. that focus on the everyday lives of sex workers, broadly defined as those who exchange sexual services for something of value. Papers in this issue locate sex workers as actors and agents despite pervasive social messages and discourses to the contrary.
“Sometimes we treat emotions as if they are facts about the world: The stronger the emotion, the stronger our belief that the emotion is based on absolute fact. “If I feel unsure, I am incompetent.” The stronger the emotion, the stronger our belief is that the emotion is based on absolute fact. “If I feel unsure, I am incompetent.” “If I get lonely when left alone, I shouldn’t be left alone.” If I feel confident about something, it is right.” “If I’m afraid, it is threatening.” “I love him, so he must be OK.”
If we assume that our emotions represent facts about the world, we may use them to validate our thoughts or our actions. This can be trouble if our emotions get us to ignore the facts.”
"You think a million people like you could do the business? Well, where are they? If you haven’t got them after two hundred years of agitation what makes you think they will turn up now or some time in the future? And do you really think it possible that a million people can believe the same thing at the same time? How would you check they were really thinking what you thought and not hoping to get something else out of it, a PhD. thesis, a promotion, a ministerial promotion, a groovy party, radical credibility, a new girlfriend? And if they did truly believe as you believe, if they downloaded your consciousness by what mechanism would that change the world? It sounds like magic: if we all think the same thing then everything will come good. Why should people believe what you say more than the promises of any other religion? The internet is full of get rich quick schemes, anarchism is just one of them.” — Monsieur Dupont
“Polyamory is a way that heterosexual men can “hedge”, or invest, in various women, to the degree that they want to, and benefit from the returns until the investment is no longer worthwhile. There are many things that can make the investment become less worthwhile -when women start to ask for something in return, or demand more emotional, social, or sexual accountability, or transparency, or care activity. The polyamorous hedge then becomes a shield against accountability, and a guarantee that there is other attention to exploit without having to really offer anything back. Should the return gain fail on one relationship, or should you be asked to be accountable for your actions with that woman, or invest more by caring more, you have created other relationships to fall back on and reap gains from. Hedging is utterly objectifying, exploitative, and violent.”—Polyamory as a Reserve Army of Care Labor
Reports suggest this document is about to be taken down from Pastebin. Pasting it here.
We are some cis and trans women and non-binary poets in the Bay Area who are concerned about ongoing issues of misogyny and gender/sexual violence in our communities.
We are writing now with some urgency. In the past weeks we have heard many stories regarding acts of sexual violence and/or sexualized intimidation perpetrated by men in our communities.
We feel it is crucial that we share this information publicly.
Accusations have surfaced about the following people: Zach Houston, Claiborne McDonald, Steven Trull (who goes by Janey Smith), and Nicholas Sung. The individual accounts of the consent violations are all somewhat different and come from multiple sources. Some are as intense as rape. Some are probably closer to intense harassment.
We are not a judicial body, nor are we interested in putting these men on trial. We know there is a lot of confusion about these stories circulating in our communities. Some people want us to share the specifics of what we have heard. But this is not our work. If survivors wish to tell their stories publicly we will do all we can to support them. But we also want to protect those survivors who do not feel safe and do not want their stories shared publicly. Some of us have expressed interest in developing restorative justice and community accountability processes around these issues. Others are not interested in those measures. We cannot predict how any one person or group of people may respond if one of these men decides to attend a poetry event. It is likely that some people will choose to confront the perpetrator and ask him to leave the event space.
We are speaking out because we want to protect ourselves and our friends and share information that might make it easier for other people to do the same. We have not always done a great job with this, but we want to do better. We want to make sure that as new people (not just women) enter our communities and attend readings, they will have the information necessary to make informed decisions. We want organizers of reading series and public event spaces to have this information, too.
It would be naive to think that these accusations represent the only instances of sexual violence in our communities. Because misogyny and sexual violence are so pervasive, it’s difficult to know where to begin. We understand that these problems exist all around us. We understand that the continuous oppression of feminized and racialized bodies is structural and necessary to the everyday functioning of capitalism and the state. We recognize that sexual and gendered violence is contiguous with the male-dominated culture that defines our domestic, semi-private, local, non-institutional (and institutional!) creative and intellectual spaces. We also understand that if we were to name every person who dominates the conversation, jokingly grabs our ass, mansplains feminism to us, misgenders us, fetishizes us, erases our presences, aggressively pursues relationships with us when our disinterest is obvious, doesn’t speak out when someone is roofied at their social space, or destabilizes our lives and children’s lives by acting violently inside the relationship or family structure, the list would be endless.
People have argued that, in calling out some names, we run the risk of deflecting attention away from the forms of relation and politics of gender that produce misogyny and sexual violence in the first place. But we believe that we have to start somewhere. And our work won’t stop at naming names. So this is not the end, but the beginning. While we are not a group, and do not claim to speak on behalf of anyone, our hope is that this work will continue in the years to come. And if we have to keep writing statements like this, we will. We will also be having frank conversations with some of you that are not on this list but who we feel are contributing to the general atmosphere of harassment. Many of us are committed to calling this stuff out. But we hope we will not be doing this alone.
Our communities are also full of cis and trans men who are, or want to be, allies, and this is an acknowledgement, too, of all those who have supported us and who are engaged in uncomfortable, ongoing conversations. And while we have focused this on the Bay Area, we know the Bay Area is not in any way unique, and our communities are international. So this is also to acknowledge those in other geographic locations. We welcome all who want to struggle together to transform the structural problems that foster sexual violence.
"Most people think of prostitution as dangerous, degrading and exploitative work. But there are some who are attempting to reinvent it as a profession free of stigma by using all the tools of modern business."
“As seen in the responses to Ferguson, many liberals today excel at aping leftist aesthetics in order to earn trust into a community while simultaneously resurrecting anticommunist slurs like “outside agitator.” They pulverize words like “intersectionality” into a meaningless oblivion, and turn them into signals that, yes, they have also taken a Sociology 201 class. They ‘get it.’”—
This is a really good article about how slandering socialist and communist groups as “outside agitators” has been used historically to put distance between black people/people of color and revolutionary socialism (and the two have an intertwined history). Communism has always been portrayed as being brought to the US from “foreigners” (e.g. in the 1900s it was Italians) and as being anti-American. also this quote = tumblr.
“There’s this recurring theme in our love lives – a man will admire us for our independence and freedom, and of course, our money. We’ll thrive on the attention for a while and we’ll enjoy spoiling him with gifts or trips. Maybe he moves in because his roommates are irresponsible, or maybe we move in with him because we’re sleeping over all the time anyway. And then the fights start.
“Where the fuck were you until five in the morning?”
And we’ll be surprised. He knew we were strippers when we started dating. Hell, maybe we met AT the strip club.
“I was at work, where else would I be? And then I got Denny’s with the crew. Like I always do on Wednesday nights.” And we shake it off. That was weird.
But the fights escalate. Maybe he refuses to give us rides to work, or maybe he insists on giving us rides and picking us up so he can account for our whereabouts. He reminds us that most guys wouldn’t be so understanding about our line of work, that most guys think we’re diseased and damaged, just one night stand material. He needs more money, because he lost his job because he was so distracted worrying about us all day.
It’s our fault he’s drinking more. It’s our fault he’s smoking more. It’s our fault he stayed up all night sharpening his knife collection. It’s our fault he was too tired to take the dog for a walk, and so the dog shit on the kitchen floor, and do you think he enjoys putting our face in dog shit?
We talk about these things at work, with an air of resignation. It’s not that bad, it wasn’t in the face. Good thing the red lights cover bruises. But an older girl pulls us aside one day and says “Look, I know you’re young and you think this is some fairy tale shit and he’s gonna change his act, but he won’t. You need to leave. Like yesterday. Don’t end up like me,” she says as she parts her hair just over her ear and we see a thin, ropey line of scar tissue.
We don’t leave. Not yet.
No, it takes a few more fights, a few more close calls, before we can really admit how bad it’s gotten. Maybe it’s when we go out on a rare night off from work with some friends, and he ruins the night by calling and texting every minute, demanding to know who you’re sucking off behind some dumpster, you fucking whore. Or maybe it’s when he plans an actual date, just the two of us, like old times, but before we can even get out the door he criticizes every outfit for being too slutty, and you want other men to know what you’re doing behind his back, don’t you?
So we leave. We sneak out a few articles of clothing at a time and stash them with a co-worker. Or we find a motel room on the other side of town. Or we take our chances and sleep in our car because we have nowhere else to go. But so often, leaving isn’t the end. It’s the beginning of a new fight.
If we had any property that was shared, we calculate how much it was worth, how much it will cost to replace, and how much personal injury we’re willing to risk. If there were children, multiply by lawyer’s fees and court costs and the risk of him painting us as bad parents because of our job. Oddly enough, it’s times like this that we’re grateful for the jobs we have because we have more room to control our schedules and almost any manager has had their own interactions with the legal system and they know.
But there’s always the risk that the fight won’t be contained by legal channels. There’s always the risk that he’ll bring the fight to us, long after we thought it was over. There’s the risk that he’ll show up at the club or at our new apartment or at our “day” job or at our school. And that’s when we start having really shitty nights, curled up with a kettle of coffee or a bottle of wine, wondering if we should write our own obituary so if he does come back again and finish what he started, we won’t be reduced to the “troubled woman” by the press.
"Perceiving other women as a threat is not actually about jealousy or self-esteem. It is the consequence of historical and material processes, or the significance and value of our care labor. As commodities, women are poised to compete with each other. The further commodifying a relationship, the more this happens."
Dungeons are often a launching pad for newbies entering the industry as the work seems safer and often more socially acceptable to the general public. In recent years pro-domme, sub, and switch work has gotten more popular than ever. Meanwhile, commercial dungeon management continues to prey on people entering into the industry looking for an…
"I understood that I was inventing myself, and that I was doing this more in the way of a painter than in the way of a scientist. I could not count on precision or calculation; I could only count on intuition. I did not have anything exactly in mind, but when the picture was complete I would know. I did not have position, I did not have money at my disposal. I had memory, I had anger, I had despair."
“I’m searching, I’m searching. I’m trying to understand. Trying to give what I’ve lived to somebody else and I don’t know to whom, but I don’t want to keep what I lived. I don’t know what to do with what I lived, I’m afraid of that profound disorder. I don’t trust what happened to me.”
— The Passion According to G. H.
"It is not the function of socialism to support nationalism, even though the latter battles imperialism. But to fight imperialism without simultaneously discouraging nationalism means to fight some imperialists and to support others, for nationalism is necessarily imperalist-or illusory. To support Arab nationalism is to oppose Jewish nationalism, and to support the latter is to fight the former, for it is not possible to support nationalism without also supporting national rivalries, imperialism, and war. To be a good Indian nationalist is to combat Pakistan; to be a true Pakistani is to despise India. Both these newly “liberated” nations are readying themselves to fight over disputed territory and subject their development to the double distortion of capitalist war economies." - Paul Mattick, Nationalism and Socialism, 1959
"White male genealogy is protected by the assumption that anyone who challenges that genealogy suffers from self-obsession. It is ironic, really, or perhaps not: you do not need to assert yourself when the genealogy does it for you." - Sara Ahmed
“”You stand there with your skill, patience, and something even more unique- and you feel alone. It is a critical point in your life; you are afraid, yet you want to go ahead and do it. Certainly the odds are against you. Most of the critics…, are concerned with …art trends, ‘forms’, marketing. Most of them wouldn’t recognize a low tone, subtle, and warm piece of wood if they saw it.
People will buy second and third hand imitations, the current overstatement, the by-the-roadside-charming. They don’t want your quiet, out-of-place message. They are not prepared for it because that sort of thing belies their whole way of living,
…most good craftsmen work by themselves doing all their own work. So if you are a loner, you and your work are different from most. Accept that, and be glad. Either you are the competitive, speculating sort, or you’re not. And if you aren’t, then turn this fact into an asset; it can be the greatest asset of all. Realizing it helps you to stop being afraid, and allows you to be proud of living with what you do best.
Stick to what you believe in; go into the work and listen. Forget about competition. Find a pace and a balance that make sense out of long hours.
Try to reach the level where there is no competitor except excellence itself.””
— James Krenov craft wisdom, 4: Forget about competition
May 19, 2011
Continuing quotes on the craft life from ‘A Cabinet Maker’s Notebook’
“One night I was kneeling in there, looking up at the cross, and the whole place became gold — and suddenly I felt something coming toward me,” she said. “It was this shimmering experience, and I just ran back to my room and said, ‘I love myself.’ It was the first time I remember talking to myself in the first person. I felt transformed.”
The high lasted about a year, before the feelings of devastation returned in the wake of a romance that ended. But something was different. She could now weather her emotional storms without cutting or harming herself.
What had changed?
It took years of study in psychology — she earned a Ph.D. at Loyola in 1971 — before she found an answer. On the surface, it seemed obvious: She had accepted herself as she was. She had tried to kill herself so many times because the gulf between the person she wanted to be and the person she was left her desperate, hopeless, deeply homesick for a life she would never know. That gulf was real, and unbridgeable.
That basic idea — radical acceptance, she now calls it — became increasingly important as she began working with patients, first at a suicide clinic in Buffalo and later as a researcher. Yes, real change was possible. The emerging discipline of behaviorism taught that people could learn new behaviors — and that acting differently can in time alter underlying emotions from the top down.
But deeply suicidal people have tried to change a million times and failed. The only way to get through to them was to acknowledge that their behavior made sense: Thoughts of death were sweet release given what they were suffering.
“She was very creative with people. I saw that right away,” said Gerald C. Davison, who in 1972 admitted Dr. Linehan into a postdoctoral program in behavioral therapy at Stony Brook University. (He is now a psychologist at the University of Southern California.) “She could get people off center, challenge them with things they didn’t want to hear without making them feel put down.”
No therapist could promise a quick transformation or even sudden “insight,” much less a shimmering religious vision. But now Dr. Linehan was closing in on two seemingly opposed principles that could form the basis of a treatment: acceptance of life as it is, not as it is supposed to be; and the need to change, despite that reality and because of it.
“If desire is repressed, it is because every position of desire, no matter how small, is capable of calling into question the established order of a society: not that desire is asocial, on the contrary. But it is explosive; there is no desiring-machine capable of being assembled without demolishing entire social sectors. Despite what some revolutionaries think about this, desire is revolutionary in its essence — desire, not left-wing holidays! — and no society can tolerate a position of real desire without its structures of exploitation, servitude, and hierarchy being compromised. […] [S]exuality and love do not live in the bedroom of Oedipus, they dream instead of wide-open spaces, and cause strange flows to circulate that do not let themselves be stocked within an established order.”—
Deleuze and Guattari, Anti-Oedipus, “Psychoanalysis and the Familialism: The Holy Family,” p. 116 (via feelingpolitical)
What a feminine syntax might be is not simple nor easy to state, because in that would no longer be either subject or object, “oneness” no longer be privileged, there would no longer be proper meanings, proper names, “proper” attributes… Instead, “syntax” would involve nearness, proximity, but in such an extreme form that it would preclude any distinction of identities, any establishment of ownership, thus any form of appropriation.
I think the place where it could best be deciphered is in the gestural code of women’s bodies. But, since their gestures are often paralyzed, or part of the masquerade, in effect, they are often difficult to “read.” Except for what resists or subsists “beyond.” In suffering, but also in women’s laughter. And again: in what they “dare” - do or say - when they are among themselves.
… I could not, I cannot install myself just like that, serenely and directly, in that [masculine] syntactic functioning - and I do not see how any woman could.
”—Luce Irigaray, This Sex Which Is Not One (Cornell University Press, 1985), p134-5 (via radtransfem)
"Everything Has a Cause
The second part to accepting is accepting that every event and every situation has a cause. Accepting that every event has a cause is the opposite of saying ‘why me’.
Now there’s another opposite for thinking events have causes and that opposite is when you say things should not be the way they are. Now ‘should not be the way they are’ in non-acceptance. We never say that about things we’re accepting or we like or we want. We say ‘should not’ about things that we think aren’t caused - they should not be this way.
So the opposite of should not is should. And once you think that everything has a cause, then you think reality should be the way it is. Acceptance from this point of view is when you say ‘everything should be as it is’.
So I’m going to give you an example. Imagine that there’s a child on a bicycle. And the child is on a hill, and the child is racing down the hill, really fast on his bicycle. And he goes into an intersection and coming the other direction is a car. And that car is driving, let’s say at the speed limit - that car’s not speeding. But the intersection’s unmarked. There’s not a stop sign, there’s not a stop light and there’s not a yield sign.
So we’re going to imagine the kid is racing down the hill. The car’s coming the other way and they meet up right in the middle of the intersection. The car hits the kid and the kid dies.
If you say it should not have happened, I would say ‘well, it should have’. There wasn’t a stop sign. There wasn’t a stop light. There wasn’t a yield sign. The kid was going fast. The car was going the speed limit. Something blocked the driver’s view. The child was a child. Children go fast.
If you wanted to say that should not have happened, you would have to create causes for it not to happen. You’d have to do something about all those causes.
That’s an example of accepting reality as it is and accepting that reality has causes. Now, do you think I approve of this? Do you think you think I think it’s good? Is acceptance saying it’s good that the child got hit by the car? No. Is that what I want? No. I were the child’s mother am I going to go on a campaign, get stops signs put there or make the speed limit lower? Yes. Will I teach my child not to race down hills? I will certainly try. “
But, until the causes are different, that event should happen. It was caused.
Aside from the effortless melodies, Wratten wrote some of the most affecting lyrics in modern pop. "Ride with me to the next station, I want to spend another half-hour with you", he trembles on ‘So Said Kay’, the trivial made thrillingly poignant.
'The man who will do something great must learn, as Goethe says, to limit himself. The man who, on the contrary, would do everything, really would do nothing, and fails. There is a host of interesting things in the world: Spanish poetry, chemistry, politics, and music are all very interesting, and if any one takes an interest in them we need not find fault. But for a person in a given situation to accomplish anything, he must stick to one definite point, and not dissipate his forces in many directions. In every calling, too, the great thing is to pursue it with understanding. Thus the judge must stick to the law, and give his verdict in accordance with it, undeterred by one motive or another, allowing no excuses, and looking neither left nor right.
Understanding, too, is always an element in thorough training. The trained intellect is not satisfied with cloudy and indefinite impressions, but grasps the objects in their fixed character: whereas the uncultivated man wavers’
'Marx’s way of using language…may be indicative of something more substantial in his thought…Marx did not conceive social reality atomistically, as made up of clearly bounded, separate, interacting entities: the kind of analytic particulars which can be grasped in clear, consistent and exclusive definitions. He saw the world, rather, as a complex network of internal relations, within which any single element is what it is only by virtue of its relationship to others…
To take the most obvious example, neither wage-labour nor capital, for instance, can for Marx be defined ‘in themselves’, as autonomous particulars, conceivable independently of one another. Nor can they properly be understood as externally ‘interacting’ on one another. Each is what it is only by virtue of its relation to the other, and must be conceptualised accordingly. The concept of capital implicitly contains that of wage-labour, and vice versa.’