L’injonction d’arrêter la prostitution adressée aux étrangères revient à raviver une vieille distinction que l’on espérait pourtant révolue : celle entre les pauvres (pauvresses) méritants, à qui sont compassionnellement octroyés quelques maigres subsides, et ceux qui, persévérant dans leur mauvaises inclinations, ne recueillent que ce qu’ils méritent – en l’occurrence le centre de rétention et l’expulsion. Qu’un tel mode de pensée puisse aujourd’hui se targuer du féminisme est un incontestable révélateur des régressions qu’a ces dernières années connu la pensée du social.
Archives de Tag: Puterie
But when people who do not wish to stop prostituting themselves go to the Prostitutionsenheten, they find they are not necessarily welcome. One interviewee was very critical even about the way prostitutes are “welcomed”: the strongly negative judgement passed on prostitutes is evident in the way they are treated even in this service expressly dedicated to them. The same negative judgement on the Prostitutionsenheten attitude is voiced by Tanya Holm, who interviewed several prostitutes. Officially, prostitutes are not criminals, but unofficially they are: if they do not accept to stop prostituting themselves, the official view on prostitution in Sweden does not allow them to be considered anything less than betrayers of the female gender. […]
A woman I interviewed who had sought advice from the Prostitutionsenheten at a moment when she was pondering possible life alternatives, was offered psychotherapy; as she discovered during the therapy sessions, it was aimed at uncovering the sexual violence she had suffered as a child. The problem was she had suffered none: «I felt very confused, I started to doubt what I knew… at the end I left therapy», she said. She said this also happened to other friends of hers. The rigidity in the official conception of prostitution does not therefore seem to help much in establishing a therapeutic dialogue. Even the gynaecological services of the Prostitutionsenheten are marked by an authoritarian approach: I heard of a permanent means of contraception (slow-release hormone) implanted without bothering about the woman’s doubts and objections. There do not seem to be internal projects of evaluation of the Prostitutionsenheten, or at least they are not available to the public, and after an initial contact and two interviews, further requests of clarification on my part (on the issue of mental diseases, for instance) were left unanswered.
Daniela Danna, « Report on the city of Stockholm », in Prostitution and Public life in Four European Capital, p. 37-38
Mais quand des personnes qui ne souhaitent pas arrêter de se prostituer vont au Prostitutionsenheten, elles trouvent qu’elles ne sont pas forcément les bienvenues. Une interviewée était même très critique de la manière dont les prostituées sont « accueillies » : le jugement très négatif porté sur les prostituées est évident dans la manière dont elles sont traitées même dans ce service qui leur est spécialement dédié. Le même jugement négatif sur l’attitude Prostitutionsenheten est émis par Tanya Holm, qui a interviewé plusieurs prostituées. Officiellement, les prostituées ne sont pas des criminelles, mais officieusement, elles en sont : si elles n’acceptent pas d’arrêter de se prostituée, le regard officiel sur la prostitution en Suède ne permet pas de les considérer comme autre chose que des traitre au genre féminin. […]
Une femme que j’ai interviewée et qui avait à un moment cherché conseil au Prostitutionsenheten lorsqu’elle réfléchissait à des possibles alternatives de vie, s’est vue offrir une psychothérapie; comme elle l’a découvert durant les sessions de thérapie, le but était de découvrir les violences sexuelles font elle avait souffert étant enfant. Le problème était qu’elle n’en avait souffert d’aucune : « Je me sentais très troublée, j’ai commencé à avoir des doutes sur ce que je savais… à la fin j’ai abandonné la thérapie », dit-elle. Elle dit que cela est aussi arrivé à d’autres de ses amies. La rigidité de la conception officielle de la prostitution ne semble dès lors pas être d’une grande aide dans l’établissement d’un dialogue thérapeutique. Même les services gynécologiques du Prostitutionsenheten sont marqués par une approche autoritaire : J’ai entendu parler de moyens permanents de contraception (hormones à libération lente) implantés sans s’inquiéter des soutes et objections des femmes. Il ne semble pas qu’il y ait des projets internes d’évaluation du Prostitutionsenheten, ou en tout cas pas accessibles au public, et après un contact initial et deux interviews, mes autres demandes de clarifications (sur l’enjeu des maladies mentales, par exemple) sont restées sans réponse
Because so long as there are women who are called whores, there will be women who are trained to believe it is next to death to be one or to be mistaken for one. And so long as that is, men will feel they can leave whores for dead with impunity. The fear of the whore, or of being the whore, is the engine that drives the whole thing. That engine could be called “misogyny,” but even that word misses something: the cheapness of the whore, how easily she might be discarded not only due to her gender but to her race, her class. Whore is maybe the original intersectional insult.
Melissa Gira Grant, Playing the Whore, Verso, 2014, p. 127-128
This has been one of the foundational contributions of sex worker feminists to feminist discourse and activism: challenging whore stigma in the name of all those who live under it. There ’s an echo of this in the popularization of whore stigma in a milder form as outrage at “slut shaming.” What is lost, however, in moving from whore stigma to slut shaming is the centrality of the people most harmed by this form of discrimination.
Melissa Gira Grant, Playing the Whore, Verso, 2014, p. 77
In West Bengal, the sex worker collective Durbar Mahila Samanwaya Committee surveyed over 21,000 women who do sex work. They collected 48,000 reports of abuse or violence by police— in contrast with 4,000 reports of violence by customers, who are conventionally thought of as the biggest threat to sex workers, especially by campaigners opposed to prostitution.
Police violence against sex workers is a persistent global reality. As the economy collapsed in Greece, police staged raids on brothels, arrested and detained sex workers, forced them to undergo HIV testing, and released their photos and HIV status to the media. These actions were condemned by UNAIDS and Human Rights Watch. In China, police have forced sex workers they have arrested to walk in “shame parades,” public processions in which they are shackled and then photographed. Police published these photos on the Web, including one in which a cop humiliated a nude sex worker by pulling her hair back and brutally exposing her face to the camera. When the photo went viral, the outcry reportedly prompted police to suspend these public shaming rituals, though they continue to make violent arrests and raids.
One could hope that the photos and videos like these could make the pervasiveness of this violence real to the public. But to truly confront this type of violence would require us to admit that we permit some violence against women to be committed in order to protect the social and sexual value of other women.
Melissa Gira Grant, Playing the Whore, Verso, 2014, p. 5-6
Wherever possible we shall strive to set up our committees, committees of the Social-Democratic Labour Party. They will consist of peasants, paupers, intellectuals, prostitutes (a worker recently asked us in a letter why not carry on agitation among the prostitutes), soldiers, teachers, workers – in short, all Social-Democrats, and none but Social-Democrats … The urban and industrial proletariat will inevitably be the nucleus of our Social-Democratic Labour Party, but we must attract to it, enlighten, and organise all who labour and are exploited, as stated in our programme – all without exception: handicraftsmen, paupers, beggars, servants, tramps, prostitutes.
Lénine, Collected Works, vol. 9, pp. 237-8., trouvé ici : http://stalinsmoustache.wordpress.com/2011/04/18/lenin-and-prostitutes/
Despite the acceptance of “sluts,” the “prostitute” remains a deeply embedded symbolic marker between decency and disrespect. The “ethical slut” engages in sex of her or his own “free” will, while the “dirty whore” insists on getting paid for sex. Sex-positive feminists and other “sluts” believe there is nothing morally wrong with consensual sex between two (or more) people in private, or for adults, in a semi-public setting such as a sex club, dungeon or swingers’ retreat. But money changes everything.
Whorephobia remains pervasive in the social psyche, showing its ugliness even in sex-positive communities. The positive emphasis on sex work confuses “straights” into thinking that sex work is about sex, not work. That cognitive dissonance — the deep chasm filled with stereotypes and prejudices — interferes with the capacity of civilians to hear sex workers speak about their experiences. Stories that don’t conform to the “superhappyfunsexysexwork!” narrative tend to flummox pro-sex feminists; they can identify with privileged exotic dancers, porn performers and professional dominants (even fantasize about being one), but think “junkie whores” need to be rescued and should be prevented from working in their gentrifying neighborhoods. Such disrespectful treatment leads to silencing, ignoring, or rewriting what sex workers have to say.
Writing in the blogosphere recently, sex workers say they’re frustrated with the uncritical acceptance of sex-positive feminism. Furry Girl, the Seattle-based founder of SWAAY, is also the blogger behind Feminisnt because she “got tired of trying to shoehorn my life into a useless ideology like a pair of ill-fitting high heels.” The habit of always trying to put a “good” face on sex work leaves little room for those who have had not-so-good experiences. They fear talking about the bad stuff because “straight” audiences, whether pro-sex feminists, prohibitionists or the media, tend to stuff those stories into established morality tales about sex, violence and bodily integrity. But the truth is that by telling stories with all the gory details and delicious specifics, we can get to the revolution that sex workers are creating right now.
Melinda CHATEAUVERT : Ethical Sluts and “Dirty Whores” : Straight Talk About Sex Work
ôtez de l’échange économico-sexuel le stigmate de putain, et la prostitution s’évapore.
Gail Pheterson, Le Prisme de la prostitution, p. 11
A parallel top-down dynamic coexists with our servicing of the male workforce—that of the enforcement of “caring” upon sex workers (particularly those who perform illicit, undocumented, full-service, or street-based work). The logic of “saving” women (savior rhetoric tends to ignore people who aren’t women) from performing this kind of marginalized labor is a direct legacy of the emerging middle-class social-working women of Victorian England and their contemporaries in the US. Rarely discussed is the classist, coercive, and hypocritical history of women’s entry into the “caring professions”—particularly with regards to the construction of the “prostitute” as a particular subject in need of saving, reforming, and steering into respectable middle-class life by “benevolent” ladies during the “rise of the social” of the late 19th century. During this era, “those doing charitable works entered into a governmental relationship with the objects of their charity, and created themselves as important social actors in the process….‘Helping’ became a profession that relied on identifying subjects and then placing them in closed spaces where they could be worked upon and controlled.” Modern non-sex-working feminists who support abolitionist/savior tactics or engage in these caring-projects themselves presume a more dignified identity than that of the sex worker, and often end up replicating a system of enforced docility based on misogynistic, bourgeois notions of respectability and the proper placement of women within the public sphere. Middle-class academics and writers who make their living off promoting a framework that casts sex workers as an inherently victimized identity “for their own good” do so at the direct expense of the agency and economic livelihood of women of lower socioeconomic status. Statist feminists’ rhetoric of “fighting the sex industry” typically relies on State power in the form of legislative reform that criminalizes at least some aspects of sex work, increases the power of law enforcement, & overregulates the sex industries in ways that further marginalize the least privileged workers by making their participation in these economies prohibitively expensive or difficult (see Britain’s Policing and Crime Act of 2009)
Thus, sex workers are triangulated in a system of caring labor—that which is enacted upon us (sometimes forcibly) by carceral feminists, paternalistic liberals, the prison-industrial complex, the surveillance State, and the superstructure of capitalist-patriarchy, and that which we perform for (primarily white) middle- to upper-class men (to say nothing of the unpaid reproductive labor we are often mandated to perform in our homes and communities). In some ways this system self-replicates harmoniously—“From homemaking to professional housekeeping—not to mention nursing, hospitality, and phone sex—women and people of color are disproportionately responsible for the care that keeps this society functioning, yet have disproportionately little say in what that care fosters. Likewise, a tremendous amount of care goes into oiling the machinery that maintains hierarchy: families help police relax after work, sex workers help businessmen let off steam, secretaries take on the invisible labor that preserves executives’ marriages.” (“Self As Other: Reflections on Self-Care,” CrimethInc. 2013). Other times, the State and the hierarchical institutions that collude with it to oppress sex workers (such as academia and the nonprofit-complex) are positioned in contradiction to the selling of sexualized services, often by way of support for or enactment of various forms of direct or indirect/“backdoor” criminalization; more indirectly, these institutions control the discourse around sex work, feminism, and labor via the creation and maintenance of a professional class of “experts” on these intersections, who have often never engaged in sex work themselves but assume entitlement based on their positioning as members of “the sex class.”
There’s a predictable but rarely-acknowledged irony that the privileges of scholars, authors, non-profit representatives, policymakers, abolitionist activists, professional feminists, and other “experts” on sex work come under less scrutiny than the supposedly “privileged” sex workers who critique non-sex-workers’ skewed analysis of the industry. It’s a fallacy to assume that non-sex-working feminists are more qualified, more entitled to speak on behalf of the “most marginalized,” than actual sex workers who are assumed to be “not representative” of the “average” sex worker, or who don’t fit into our culture’s perception of what the “worst off” looks like. That’s not to say that these experts are always blinded by their economic and social privilege, that none have adopted their views as a result of their experiences working in the sex industry themselves. Identity itself isn’t always the deciding standard for sound analysis. The problem is that (usually relatively privileged) non-sex-working feminists do overwhelmingly take up space at the table where sex workers, especially sex workers who are particularly marginalized & institutionally disenfranchised (street workers, drug users, trans women, single parents, people of color, etc.) should be debating effective strategies for liberation, resistance, and survival, in whatever forms these may materialize. We should be finding ways to help each other avoid exploitation, violence, and desperation, without contributing to a culture of stigma or perpetuating rhetoric that makes criminalization of sex work a winning strategy for politicians and good PR for celebrities and CEOs.