Love & Sex Magazine

Available Weapon

By Maggiemcneill @Maggie_McNeill

This essay first appeared in Cliterati on April 6th; I have modified it slightly to fit the format of this blog.

Neofeminists are fond of pretending that women are not individuals, but rather mere appendages of some vast gestalt entity for which the neofeminists are the designated mouthpieces.  Many of their arguments against sex work rely on the notion that the private actions of individual women somehow resonate across this vast, incorporeal, hydra-like entity and magically harm all women everywhere in the world.  Therefore, they argue, the state is justified in using violence to suppress sex work for the “greater good”.  As so often happens with arguments based on irrational beliefs, however, the truth is exactly the opposite; prostitution laws pose a real and serious danger to all women, not just sex workers.  As I explained in “Be Careful Who You Rape”,

…women who will take money for sex are indistinguishable from those who won’t up until the moment the deal is made.  So it’s inevitable that aggressive campaigns of persecution against the former will ensnare some of the latter.  When prostitution is criminalized to any degree, women who carry condoms, answer personal ads, wear sexy lingerie, go without lingerie, fail forced “virginity tests”, ask a cop if he’s a cop, “act sexy”, go out after dark without a male chaperone, or even just “look like a prostitute” are regularly arrested and charged withboot on the neck having sex for a reason some people don’t like…

If one is prone with a boot on one’s neck, it makes very little difference whether that boot is a left or a right one.  Yet political feminists are forever attacking the misogynistic schemes of “conservatives” while actively supporting the misogynistic schemes of their own party, despite the fact that they’re impossible to tell apart from the vantage point of the one beneath the boot.  Control of women’s bodies is one issue upon which all statists can agree, and the tactics employed by the Cult of the Allwomyn are indistinguishable from those used by the devotees of other deities:

The sharia police in…[Indonesia] have rounded up 15 young women after they were “caught” in a late-night coffee shop.  They have been accused of not wearing appropriate Muslim clothing and for loitering outdoors after midnight…Police chief Rita Pujiastuti [said]…it was believed that certain teenagers choosing to hang out in coffee shops until the early hours were involved in prostitution…police…also arrested…female beauty-parlor employees who were allegedly caught engaging in immoral acts…and…jailed without being given access to legal advice

If you think this is the sort of thing that only happens in Islamic countries, you need to read the links in both of the block quotes above (not to mention my essay “Savages in Suits”).  But hey, you can’t make a morality omelet without breaking a few eggs, right?  Surely women should be happy to sit in jail for a few hours (or days, or weeks, or months, or years) if it serves the greater good of feminism (or Christianity, or Islam, or The Workers, or The Children!TM).  But speaking of children:

…Cirila Balthazar Cruz…gave birth to her daughter in November of 2008 at Mississippi’s Singing River Hospital.  Afterwards, Cruz, who grew up speaking Chatino–an indigenous language native to Oaxaca—was interviewed in Spanish…From Cruz’s very limited Spanish, the interpreter allegedly understood that Cruz was engaged in sex work…[she] was deemed an “unfit” mother, whose failure to learn English “placed her unborn child in danger”…we have no way of knowing how those details were possibly extrapolated from a conversation in a language that Cruz barely speaks…[but her] baby was taken away from her and placed with a foster family for an entire year…

Cirila Baltazar CruzThe article goes on to discuss the injustice of using inability to speak English as grounds for declaring a woman “unfit” to be a mother, but totally ignores the other excuse:  that she was a whore.  Note that Cruz may not actually be a sex worker at all; that may have been a misunderstanding deriving from her poor grasp of Spanish.  The mere accusation was enough, however, just as it was for Petite Jasmine (whose ability to speak her own tongue, Swedish, was not a factor).  As long as prostitution is defined as a crime or a pathology, it can be used to draw lines between “good” women and “bad” women regardless of whether “bad” is defined as succubus or victim.  And as long as the weapon of a prostitution charge is available, it can be used against any woman even if she’s never sold sex even once in her life.


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