Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Lillith 'Howard', Neo Puritanism and Censorship (We're Laydees, You Know!......

One of my fellow bloggers Louise posted on this item today. Save for arguing against censorship and commenting on stereotypes of sex workers (either a drug addict victim or the 'happy hooker' evidently portrayed by this sitcom) she seems not to see beneath the rhetoric of this organisation.

'Eaves' and 'Lillith' are of the strand of feminism I despise and have no respect for - the anti sex puritanical wing, who claim that women cannot consent to sex work yet by some miraculous stretch can consent to an abortion. Yet it seems criticism by those who define themselves as feminists is often done in a friendly, sisterly manner, a critique from within if you will.

I will not be so polite. These people are like a sketch from Little Britain or Catherine Tate.

I shall quote them:

"We, the undersigned, believe that Channel 5’s new sitcom, 'Respectable', due to be screened in August 2006, about women selling sex in a brothel as subject of humour is a gross misrepresentation of the lives of women involved in prostitution. The reality for most women involved in prostitution is coercion, extreme violence, drug dependency, homelessness, criminal records, rapes and beatings - not shoe collections and student loans."

Criminal records? Hang on - these same ladies support the criminalisation of prostitution and oppose the definition of it being 'sex work'. The label, for them, should remain 'prostitution' - the origins of the term being 'engaging in an immoral act in exchange for money. The negative stereoptype which they portray about sex workers may be true in some cases, yet they don't want to see that it is the criminalisation they support and the social stigmatisation with it that leads to these problems. It doesn't matter whether women continue to prosecuted or men, as is the case in Sweden and which they wish to be the case in this country. The result is the same.

"In July 2006, two women in Shropshire were beaten to death in a brothel. By broadcasting a sitcom that makes selling sex in brothels appear funny,
Channel 5 is glamorising an industry that exploits, degrades and ultimately kills women. This sitcom should be withdrawn immediately from schedules and shelved, never to be shown."

Hang on, comdedy can make almost anything seem funny (including the Nazis!). Why is sex so sacred and serious to these precious ladies?

The Mary Whitehouse brigade is out again, with a slightly different tone of rhetoric. Not only this but their Victorian mentality makes them stereotype an entire industry and by definition the people who work in it as being hapless victims, if not on a death wish then degraded and exploited by what they believe to be doing consensually. They are disingenous to use murder victims as a political tool. If the sex industry was decriminalised then it would be far safer. In Germany, where it is legal, the women have alarm buttons by their beds. If pressed a security guard is on call. Yet our charming laydees from the innappropriately titled 'Lillith' would object to this as the security guards are nothing but 'pimps' and exploiters. Never mind the safety of the women, the safety of whom these hypocrites have the audacity to invoke! The safety of whom the values of these modern Victorians constantly endanger by their own tired morality.

What is boils down to is this - they object to any definition of the female on television that offends their middle class, genteel Victorian sense of 'decency, just like Mary Whitehouse and the appropriately named 'National Vigilance Association' of the late 19th century. Why don't they take it to it's logical conclusion and bar all representations of sacred protestant womanhood from our media? By their standards no representation can ever be what they deem as politically correct.

Watch this space, as I intend to write some more articles exposing these people. Or look at their websites and they will speak for themselves pretty much. How such sub 19th century puritan garbage can pass for 'feminism' these days is beyond my grasp.

Because, face it, question them hard enough and all their objections and protestations will amount to will be a cry of 'we are laydees, you know!'


kris said...

"Hang on, comdedy can make almost anything seem funny (including the Nazis!). Why is sex so sacred and serious to these precious ladies?"

It's probably not sex that is so serious- it is abuse that makes it an issue. I suppose some dour women consider sex-slavery unfunny.

Ruth K. said...

Did you just say that comedy can make the Nazis seem funny? Is that what you meant to say or did I get the wrong end of the stick.

Liz said...

Kris - voluntary prostitution is not sex slavery. The show was about voluntary prostitution, not sex slavery. Please don't blur the issues, as those people are so fond of doing. Sex workers are able to consent to sex - it is not 'abuse' unless it is forced. I have heard this line before and it is patronising and dull.

It is not just prostitution those people oppose but sexual imagery involving women - anything!

Ruth - that is what I meant, you're right. Take Charlie Chaplin, for instance.

kris said...

While the show may be a "comedy spoof" on "voluntary prostitution" I think in reality-land- you'd have to scour London to find "voluntary prostitutes" of the type you describe.

Liz said...

I have found plenty of women doing such work voluntarily, funnily enough. Search the internet and you'll find them easily enough, without setting foot outside your door. Your views appear to be based on little but media based prejudice and assumption.

Prostitutes don't all fall into the simplistic categories of high class call girls or victim drug addicts, there are plenty in between. And yes, voluntary is the norm, not forced.

Btw what the hell do you mean of 'they type I describe'. I have not given any descriptions of any sex workers.

Liz said...

I know that blog and I cannot stand her victim politics.

Her 'research' on prostitution is skewed and it is far from impartial. There is a noticable lack of broad, impartial data on the matter, as any academic would concede. Shame that you accept them without question. Laura's 'authority' is of a questionable nature. For starters, it focuses mainly on street prostitutes, who do not today make up the whole or even the majority of the market. It tends to be funded by governments who have their own agenda (Ie using the law to criminalise activity).

However, I can give you a link with some articles. For your extra information I have known some women personally who engage in voluntary prostitution, which no doubt comes as a surprise to somebody like you whose only knowlege of the matter comes from your own snobbish preconceptions, what you read in the media and from the victim based feminists you love who feed the male liberal guilt you thrive on. This is clearly why you so hostile to a woman like myself who is not ready to prop you up on your white horse.
Surprise - some sex workers are articulate, not fitting the victim role you wish to cast them in and some of us on the web don't fit into the sheltered 'chattering class' sterotype either!

You can fuck off with your references to 'liz land' and 'hissy fit'. I open this blog for comments as I expect people to be polite and disagree with me without sexist reference and infantil put downs. I am considering moderating these comments if you are unable to disagree politely, as you obviously are.

I accept the fact that in the case of some sex workers consent may be mitigated by some factors (i.e addiction or poverty). But there is nothing to show that most are 'forced' in the slavery sense. Many people do work they dislike for the sake of getting paid. If you found a group of cleaners or other workers in a menial job you'd probably find 90% of them wishing to leave.

However, here is a link with some interesting articles to challenge your perceptions:

Also see my wages for housework link and go the section on 'sex workers'.

Liz said...

Moderation is now on, troll, so unless your comments are of a polite and respectful nature they will not appear here, don't say you have not been warned.

But - to answer you one last time you accuse the premises of my posts of being 'false'. You cannot prove these premises 'not all sex workers are victims or are forced' - or that 'domestic violence should be a gender neutral issue'. All you can do is disagree with them and tell me why you think they are wrong. But it is a fact that I have met prostitutes who are neither victims nor are coerced in any way. Which neatly blows one of your 'facts' (which you parrot the so unbiased *not* Laura on out of the window.


Liz said...

Kris's offending comments about hysteria and his other personal abuse that I replied to above are now deleted. So will any other posts he makes. He is not welcome on this blog due to persistent personal abuse, despite having been asked politely to desist.