Archives de Tag: Sexisme

the Whore insult

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

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Capital’s use o…

Capital’s use of the wage also obscures who is the working class and keeps workers divided. Through the wage relation, capital organizes different labor markets (a labor market for blacks, youth, women and white males), and opposes a “working class” to a “non-working” proletariat, supposedly parasitic on the work of the former. Thus, as welfare recipients we are told we live off the taxes of the “working class,” as housewives we are pictured as the bottomless pits of our husbands’ paychecks.
But ultimately the social weakness of the wageless has been and is the weakness of the entire working class with respect to capital. As the history of the “runaway shop” demonstrates, the availability of unwaged labor, both in the “underdeveloped” countries and in the metropolis, has allowed capital to leave those areas where labor had made itself too expensive, thus undermining the power that workers there had reached. Whenever capital could not run to the “Third World,” it opened the gates of the factories to women, blacks, and youth in the metropolis or to mi-grants from the “Third World.” Thus it is no accident that while capitalism is presumably based on waged labor, more than half of the world’s population is unwaged. Wagelessness and underdevelopment are essential elements of capitalist planning, nationally and internationally. They are powerful means to make workers compete on the national and international labor market, and make us believe that our interests are different and contradictory.23
Here are the roots of sexism, racism and welfarism (contempt for the workers who have succeeded in getting some money from the State), which are the expressions of different labor markets and thus different ways of regulating and dividing the working class. If we ignore this use of capitalist ideology and its roots in the wage relation, we not only end up considering racism, sexism and welfarism as moral diseases, products of “false consciousness,” but we are confined to a strategy of “education” that leaves us with nothing but “moral imperatives to bolster our side.”24
[…] As the struggles of black people in the 1960s showed, it was not by good words, but by the organization of their power that they made their needs “understood.” In the case of women, trying to educate men has always meant that our struggle was privatized and fought in the solitude of our kitchens and bedrooms. Power educates. First men will fear, then they will learn because capital will fear. For we are not struggling for a more equal redistribution of the same work. We are struggling to put an end to this work and the first step is to put a price tag on it.

Silvia Federici, “counterplanning from the kitchen” (1975), in Revolution at point Zero : Housework Reproduction and Feminist Struggle, p. 36-37

Capital’s use of the wage also obscures who is the working class and keeps workers divided. Through the wage relation, capital organizes different labor markets (a labor market for blacks, youth, women and white males), and opposes a “working class” to a “non-working” proletariat, supposedly parasitic on the work of the former. Thus, as welfare recipients we are told we live off the taxes of the “working class,” as housewives we are pictured as the bottomless pits of our husbands’ paychecks.
But ultimately the social weakness of the wageless has been and is the weakness of the entire working class with respect to capital. As the history of the “runaway shop” demonstrates, the availability of unwaged labor, both in the “underdeveloped” countries and in the metropolis, has allowed capital to leave those areas where labor had made itself too expensive, thus undermining the power that workers there had reached. Whenever capital could not run to the “Third World,” it opened the gates of the factories to women, blacks, and youth in the metropolis or to mi-grants from the “Third World.” Thus it is no accident that while capitalism is presumably based on waged labor, more than half of the world’s population is unwaged. Wagelessness and underdevelopment are essential elements of capitalist planning, nationally and internationally. They are powerful means to make workers compete on the national and international labor market, and make us believe that our interests are different and contradictory.23
Here are the roots of sexism, racism and welfarism (contempt for the workers who have succeeded in getting some money from the State), which are the expressions of different labor markets and thus different ways of regulating and dividing the working class. If we ignore this use of capitalist ideology and its roots in the wage relation, we not only end up considering racism, sexism and welfarism as moral diseases, products of “false consciousness,” but we are confined to a strategy of “education” that leaves us with nothing but “moral imperatives to bolster our side.”24
[…] As the struggles of black people in the 1960s showed, it was not by good words, but by the organization of their power that they made their needs “understood.” In the case of women, trying to educate men has always meant that our struggle was privatized and fought in the solitude of our kitchens and bedrooms. Power educates. First men will fear, then they will learn because capital will fear. For we are not struggling for a more equal redistribution of the same work. We are struggling to put an end to this work and the first step is to put a price tag on it.

Silvia Federici, “counterplanning from the kitchen”, in Revolution at point Zero : Housework Reproduction and Feminist Struggle, p. 36-37

We travel for days up the mountains, across rivers, through dense forest. We follow the paths that others have taken. Small winding paths of dust or mud depending on the season.
I carry my bag of clothes and all the hopes of my family on my back. I carry this with pride; it’s a precious bundle not a burden. As for the border, for the most part, it does not exist. There is no line drawn on the forest floor. There is no line in the swirling river. I simply put my foot where thousands of other women have stepped before me. My step is excited, weary, hopeful, fearful and defiant. Behind me lies the world I know. It’s the world of my grandmothers and their grandmothers. Ahead is the world of my sisters who have gone before me, to build the dreams that keep our families alive. This step is Burma. This step is Thailand. That is the border.

If this was a story of man setting out on an adventure to find a treasure and slay a dragon to make his family rich and safe, he would be the hero. But I am not a man. I am a woman and so the story changes. I cannot be the family provider. I cannot be setting out on an adventure. I am not brave and daring. I am not resourceful and strong. Instead I am called illegal, disease spreader, prostitute, criminal or trafficking victim.

Why is the world so afraid to have young, working class, non-English speaking, and predominately non-white women moving around? It’s not us that are frequently found to be pedophiles, serial killers or rapists. We have never started a war, directed crimes against humanity or planned and carried out genocide. It’s not us that fill the violent offender’s cells of prisons around the world. Exactly what risk does our freedom of movement pose? Why is keeping us in certain geographical areas so important that governments are willing to spend so much money and political energy? Why do we feel like sheep or cattle, only allowed by the farmer to graze where and when he chooses? Why do other women who have already crossed over into so many other worlds, fight to keep us from following them? Nothing in our experiences provides us with an answer to these questions.

Instead of respect for our basic human rights under the United Nations Human Rights Council we are given “protection” under the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. We are forced to live with the modern lie that border controls and anti-trafficking policies are for our protection. None of us believe that lie or want that kind of protection. We have been spied on, arrested, cut off from our families, had our savings confiscated, interrogated, imprisoned and placed into the hands of the men with guns, in order for them to send us home… all in the name of “protection against trafficking”. It’s rubbing salt into the wound that this is called helping us. We are grateful for those who are genuinely concerned with our welfare … but we ask you to listen to us and think in new ways.
After “raid or rescue” we will walk the same path again, facing the same dangers at the same border crossings. Just like the women fighting to be educated, fighting to vote, fighting to participate in politics, fighting to be independent, fighting to work, to love, to live safely… we will not stay in the cage society has made for us, we will dare to keep crossing the lines.

Empower Fundation, The impact of anti trafficking policy and practice on Sex Worker’s human rights in Thailand

I have waitressed, and been sexually harassed by bosses and customers. I have modeled for art classes, and watched students and teachers fuel their fantasies with my motionless body. I have worked in an office, and been stuck in a cubicle with a coworker who just could not grasp the hard fact that I preferred my woman lover over him. I have worked in the film industry, and felt myself a cog in a multimillion dollar machine that designs and markets “entertainment” around the sex-values of its stars. These all look like sex industries to me. I wondered : What is the difference between jobs within job systems that hypocritically deny the importance of sex to their smooth operation as opposed to those that exploit it as their very reason of operating ? If capitalism was structuring my work experiences, and if sexism was structuring roles within capitalism, what had I to lose by facing overt rather than covert realities ? I certainly had choice of not doing this particular work, but I never had a choice of not dealing with its existence

TRADUCTION
J’ai été serveuse, et été harcelée sexuellement par mes patrons et mes clients. J’ai été modèle pour des cours d’art, et vu les étudiants et les profs nourrir leurs fantasmes de mon corps immobile. J’ai travaillé dans un bureau, où j’étais coincée entre quatre murs avec un collègue qui n’arrivait pas à concevoir le fait que je puisse lui préférer mon amante. J’ai travaillé dans l’industrie du cinéma, et je me suis sentie comme un petit maillon dans une machine multimillionnaire qui crée du ‘divertissement’ sur la base de la valeur sexuelle de ses stars. A mes yeux, ces industries sont toutes des industrie du sexe. Je me suis demandé : ‘Quelle est la différence entre des jobs dans des systèmes de travail qui nient hypocritement l’importance du sexe dans leur fonctionnement, et celles qui exploitent le sexe comme la raison même de leur fonctionnement ?’ J’avais clairement le choix de faire ou ne pas faire ce job en particulier, mais je n’ai jamais eu le choix de ne pas avoir à faire face à l’existence de cette réalité.

Vicky Funary, “Naked, Naughty, Nasty”, in Jill NAGLE, Whores and other feminists, Routledge, 1997, p. 19-20